Lifestyle

J’aime Paris

Cue the Parisian cafe music now. I’ll wait here while you set up your Spotify playlist to get in the mood for this blog post. 

D’accord. 

The truth is, Paris has my heart. My mom was born there, I still have family in the city, and part of me feels like I NEED to live there someday. Thankfully, Chris was equally enamored by it’s beauty and we’re already planning our #RetiredLife in Paris. 

You all have asked for the itinerary, so here’s a breakdown in detail! 

Day 1

We arrived into Paris mid evening, around 730pm, and were pretty tired. We stayed at the Westin Paris-Vendôme. While it wasn’t as grandiose as some other Paris hotels, the staff was friendly, our room was upgraded to an Eiffel Tower view, the bed was comfortable, and the location was ON POINT. It stays light outside until 10pm in the summer though, so we ventured out to an area close to our hotel for some food and beverages. 

Bar Hemingway – an old school bar in the Ritz hotel, guys must wear pants. The drinks are so special (and come with a fresh flower I might add). They have a small food menu, but may want to go elsewhere if you’re starving. We ordered the mini franks (super gourmet hot dogs) and ate the bar snacks. Such a cool vibe, MUST SEE in my opinion. 

Day 2

We had a bit of a rough morning due to the heat and jet lag, but had a full day planned (thanks to me). We wanted to walk and take in the city anyways, so we stopped for breakfast in a little cafe on our way to the Catacombs. 

Catacombs- buy skip-the-line tickets, trust me. You have to schedule a time to be there, and get there on time, but it’s worth not waiting in a line. We purchased the audio guide also. It’s cool down there (which we loved because it was SO hot outside) so dress accordingly. 

     

Jardin du Luxembourg- we walked through the beautiful gardens on our way to see some other things. We took a minute to sit down and take it in. This is a must see!

Notre Dame- you can still get a great view of this beauty, but of course you can’t go inside and the structure is blocked off. 

St. Chappell- we bought skip-the-line tickets to this church also (they are super affordable). It doesn’t take long to get through this one, just take in the beauty and history of the stained glass

 

Chanel- I had to see the OG Chanel store (31 Rue Cambon), where Coco herself lived above it all. Definitely made some splurges here, worth every penny for the memories. If you’re in the market to buy, make sure you ask to take a picture on the stairs to Coco’s apartment!

      

Pierre Marcolini- fabulous chocolates and sorbet, perfect midday snack 

Girafe- BEST experience in Paris. Some locals may see this as a trendy or tourist spot, but it truly is worth the visit. It has the best view of the Eiffel Tower with amazing food and service. The lobster linguini did not disappoint. Ask your hotel concierge to make you a reservation weeks in advance. Sometimes this place doesn’t even answer their phone, which was the case for us. TBH, we just showed up early (for European time 630pm) and begged because it was our honeymoon. They gave us a great table but told us we had to be out by 10pm. DONE and DONE. 

 

Day 3

We spent an entire day museum hopping, which kept us moving through at a reasonable pace (and that happens to be my museum style). Wear something comfortable! We did not buy a Paris Museum Pass, because we only planned on going to 2 museums and just purchased individual tickets, but this could be a good option if you plan on seeing a lot of museums over multiple days. 

Louvre- again we purchased skip-the-line passes. The lines here are LONG.  So much to see in this place. We stuck to one wing, and the Mona Lisa of course. They have a separate line to see Mona Lisa now, which took us about 45 minutes to go through. Have your cameras ready, they push you through there like cattle!

Musee d’Orsay- we did skip-the-line here too. Takes less time to go through. Gorgeous museum with Van Gogh and Monet pieces (my faves). Don’t miss out on the top floor! There is a beautiful view of the city. 

Angelina- if you’re going to Paris, you have to stop here! There are multiple locations but I like the original on Rue de Rivoli. I love a good Croque Madame (paired with rosé of course). 

Ferdi- reportedly Kanye West’s favorite spot in Paris. It’s small, so a reservation is a good idea. The menu is different than your typical French food. A combo of American, Mexican, and French options. 

Day 4

Despite our crazy jet lag, we got up SUPER early to do something I knew we would be thankful for, later. You’re not a blogger unless you take photos in front of the Eiffel Tower, right? 

It was actually a gorgeous sunrise and a nice little break from the scorching temperatures (it was 6am after all). 

Our photos are still being edited, so the one shown in this blog post is just a preview, but I can’t wait to share them all with you! We shot with Vio, from The Paris Photographer, and had a fabulous time. However it wasn’t long before we were sweating through our dress clothes and I forgot to bring sandals so my Louboutin stilettos almost killed me on the cobblestone streets a few times. 

We knew we had something luxurious to look forward to after the photos, as we had booked breakfast and massages at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. The spa is VERY luxurious. Probably the best massage I’ve had, ever. The amenities and facilities are fancy, to the point where I felt a little confused with how to use things. Everything is different in France! One thing to note, is that you aren’t allowed access into the pool area if you’re not a guest at the hotel. Womp Womp. It looked epic, and was part of the reason I booked the massages, but oh well. 

Eiffel Tower- we just so happened to go on the hottest record day IN HISTORY in Paris. I had purchased skip-the-line passes for this too, and I highly recommend it! You can purchase a lift ticket and take the lift the entire way up, OR you can do what we did and climb the first two portions, then take a lift to the very top (there are no stairs up to that point). We had a great time, despite sweating through our clothes. There is champagne at the very top!

       

Costes- trendy, good music, great people watching. Dress up for this one! Be sure to make a reservation. Service isn’t as good as the food and people watching, but still a must see in my book. 

Day 5

Versailles- a 45ish minute train ride outside of Paris, definitely worth seeing once. The gardens are my favorite part, although the palace is pretty epic too. You could spend an entire day here and I recommend going early to mid morning. I’ll say it again… skip-the-line pass is a MUST. The line for ticket holders (without a timed entry) can still be VERY long in the summer. 

**Pro Tip: If you walk straight through the gardens and exit the grounds (you can come back in) you will find a little canal and boat rental that is very affordable. This was the highlight of our day actually, to get a break from tourist stuff. It’s like recreation from a scene in the Notebook. If you plan beforehand, bring lunch and some wine and eat lunch on the canal. Uber romantic.          

We had dinner with my cousin this evening, at a local spot (honestly can’t remember the name). It was really cool to see family in a city so far away from home, and having a French translator to teach you what you should actually be saying when you order, was a plus!

Laduree- if you don’t know what this place is, and you’re traveling to Paris, just add it to your list ASAP. Try all the macaron flavors. No shame. Chris and I ate 15 in one night! 

 

We could’ve used a few more days (more like weeks) in Paris for sure. We had a lot of other places on our list that we either didn’t have time for, or were too tired to get to. It was honestly so hot that it was tough to sit outside and dine at the cafes, which is pretty much the best part of being in Paris! I spent hours online reading blogs to find the most recommended locations, so here’s a list of locations that still remain on my list for our next trip!

 -Le bon marche

 -Berthilon (gelato)

 -Du Pain et des Idées

 -Piere Lachaise Cemetery

 -Sacre Coeur in Montmarte

 -Chez Julien

 -Maison Kayser (baguettes)

 -Musee d’lorangerie

 -L’avenue (make a res)

 -Holybelly Cafe

 -Pierre Herme (macarons)

 -La Droguerie du Marais (crepes)

 -Luluwhite 

Paris Outfit Log 

Look… we were totally unprepared for how hot it was going to be. Apparently everyone was taken by surprise (record breaking temps). We did our best and surely sweat through most things, but still felt like our fashion guesses helped us fit in. I will say that Paris can be unpredictable with rain, cooler temperatures, and apparently warmer temps in our case. Pack pieces that you can wear in different ways, layer, etc. And comfortable shoes are A MUST. 

 

 

 

Truly, Paris is so magical and if you haven’t been, just take a leap and go ASAP! If you have been to Paris, leave your favorite memory or location in the comments!

 

Fashion

Paris meets Newport Beach- #MajesticSaysOui

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My bridal shower weekend has finally come and gone, and it was literally a dream! I had a vision for A LOT of pink, with Parisian vibes. With some help from my stylish sister-in-law and the rest of my family and friends, it came to life!

When I was brainstorming theme, it was easy to come up with Parisian, because my mom was actually born in Paris and grew up with a lot of French influence in her family. Since she was helping to throw the shower (from afar), she was super excited to move forward with this theme!

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Lucky for me, my sister-in-law-to-be is a style and design wizard (La Confidence Events)! She quickly took the reigns on this Parisian, Chanel-inspired bridal shower. We started planning about 2-3 months in advance, because I knew I didn’t want to rush it, AND I wanted to keep it as affordable as possible.

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We had a vision for a lot of PINK! Before I knew it, we were collecting supplies from all over the place. Some from Etsy, some from the streets of Los Angeles, Party City, etc. I think the key for being cost effective, was looking at all of the options, and that takes time of course.

ATTIRE

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I knew that I wanted my outfit to be fabulous. I am not the type of girl who is prepared for events and parties. I tend to wait until the last minute to find an outfit and then I’m not super happy with what I’m wearing. This time, I planned WAY in advance and sought out a fun tulle skirt to complete the Parisian vibe. I found this skirt from Space 46 Boutique where the options are ENDLESS. They have tulle skirts in any color, and any length. I went to the shop, since I live locally, but most of their business is online. My top is from Forever 21! I googled away for months to find the perfect top to complement my skirt. I wanted simple, but chic, and this really did the trick. I completed the outfit with a beret, Chanel pearl necklace and Chanel perfume! You can see links to my outfit pieces and other options below.

 

I knew the day was going to be busy, so I had Erica from 10.11 Makeup come to beautify me! She does not disappoint, and I can’t wait to see her again on my wedding day. I went for a French, Parisian look with thick black liner and bright lips. Top with beret, voila! Even EMS made an appearance in her beret and striped shirt. She wasn’t as happy to be donned in Parisian attire, however.

 

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FOOD

Now… let’s talk FOOD. I knew what I wanted from the start, I just had to find someone who offered it. There are a ton of catering companies in Orange County; many of them are not only expensive, but very specific with what you can order. I ended up choosing my favorite meal-planning boss babe Taylor DeCosta, from Taylor Made Cuisine, and I am SO glad I did. She customized the menu to exactly what I wanted, AND played a huge role in making sure everything went smoothly throughout the entire party. Taylor and her husband Mike offer both catering and meal prep services in Orange County, and they truly know how to make a customer happy.

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TREATS

What would a bridal shower be without FABULOUS treats?! My best advice? DON’T skimp on the desserts.  I used a combination of locations to provide the sweets.

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My mother-in-law was kind enough to order a cake and it did not disappoint! I have always dreamed of having a cake like this, and when I saw it, I felt like a princess who had her dreams come true. The cake was designed and ordered from Penelope’s Perfections, in Costa Mesa. It was as tasty as it was beautiful! I love almond flavoring, so my mother-in-law chose the almond flavored cake with raspberry filling. DIVINE. My family also added a few peonies and a Chanel decal to the cake to fit perfectly with my theme.

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I couldn’t have a French-inspired shower without croissants. I ordered these in bulk from a bakery in Tustin, Cream Pan. They have a wide array of selections and I couldn’t decide so I needed them all! I chose a variety of butter, chocolate, almond, and strawberry and cream croissants. Lay these out on platters of your choice and they can complement your decor.

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To complete the dessert table, I wanted a variety of mini desserts that included mini caramel apple pies, macaroons, and sugar cookies in the shape of a Chanel perfume bottle and Eiffel Tower. One of my favorite bakeries in Orange County for specialty desserts, is Sweet and Saucy. They can make ANYTHING, and they taste fabulous.

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FLORALS 

OK… I love flowers. I always have fresh flowers in my home, and I can appreciate what fresh blooms will do to a room, especially if you’re having a party. What I don’t love, is what florals can cost. You wouldn’t believe some of the quotes we received for my bridal shower! I get it, florists are amazing and they really know what they’re doing. We just weren’t willing to spend that on the bridal shower.

Thanks to my sister-in-law’s genius idea (who is starting her event planning business, La Confidence Events), we purchased all of our florals and vases from the flower mart in Los Angeles. Yah, it required driving to a not-so-nice area in LA, it’s not the most convenient plan if you’re busy, but I am SO glad we made this choice.

I purchased eight vases in various sizes for $40, and a few more silver pails for 50% off at another shop in LA. I paid less than $150 total for the flowers themselves. I used a combination of pink roses, ranunculus, white hydrangeas, baby’s breath, and some greens to mix in. We cut and built the arrangements ourselves, the night before the shower. It was definitely more work by doing these ourselves, especially with transportation, but it worked out in the end and those blooms are still living in my home as I write!

 

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Venue and Decor

One of my favorite places in Orange County, is Pelican Hill Resort. It isn’t far from my home, but it when you stay here, it feels like you’re in another world! I had my 30th birthday party here and it was one for the books. It was the first place I thought of when I was deciding on venue for my bridal shower.

My preference when staying here, is to rent one of the villas and share it with family or friends. We stayed in a three-bedroom villa with an ocean view. It is THE PERFECT place to get some R&R, and entertain a small group of family or friends. There is a full kitchen, and very spacious quarters. My parents came from Michigan for the weekend, and Chris’ parents stayed as well. It was a really fun bonding weekend for all of us, and saved time on traveling to another bridal shower destination.

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As I mentioned before, the decor came from many different vendors and locations. One of my favorite companies to work with was For Your Party. This brand offers the cutest products for customizing and personalizing your events, with free range to design as you please! I had a great time designing all of my products. I plopped down on my couch one day and designed each of these products, keeping the French/Chanel theme in mind of course!

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My ladies and I came up with a hashtag (would you have expected anything else?) so I tried to incorporate that into much of my decor. The personalized napkins were A MUST. They come in a variety of styles and the fonts/graphics are endless. I had to emphasize Chris’ sweet proposal with these coasters, and placed another more interactive coaster on the table as well.

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Since we had so many amazing treats, I wanted a cute goodie bag that my guests could put them in, to take home. I LOVE how they turned out, and fit in with my theme, hashtag included. For favors, I chose personalized tea bags, shown below on the right, that my guests could pick up on their way out. These were paired with candles (also shown below) for each guest. I figured at least these favors would be super cute, AND useful at home!

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I wanted to have something a little different for my guests to do while at my shower, so we decided to set up a wine tasting table. Of course, the winner would get an awesome prize! I rented 6 different carafes, and picked various wines for tasting. I chose 2 champagnes, 2 rosés, and 2 sauvignon blancs, and asked that my guests determine which was a “save” vs “splurge”. I needed tasting cups for the game, made by For Your Party, as well as paper signs indicating what the game was.

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My other sister-in-law arranged the rest of the games, which included a bridal emoji game, “he said she said game, and “guess the age of the bride” in various photos. Don’t judge!! You will likely not recognize me in many of these photos!

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Are you planning a party anytime soon? Use code CASSIExFYP for 10% off your order.

The code is only valid until October 31, 2018!

 

The rest of my decor was purchased as followed:

Tablecloths- fabric district in LA (~$40 for 6 gorgeous fabric tablecloths)

Balloons- American Celebrations in LA and Party City (~ $100 for combo of customized letter balloons, large 36 inch balloons, 9 inch latex balloons)

**Balloon tassels hand made out of sheets of tissue paper. They were otherwise very expensive and we wanted a lot of them for the big balloons. Big shoutout to my mom here for doing most of them!!

**Don’t forget about helium! Sometimes there are restrictions to how many balloons a vendor will fill for you. We rented a helium tank for $45. That is very affordable for this county, but we called around and somehow got lucky.

Invitations- Zazzle (~$90)

Silverware, plates, straws- Amazon, Party City

 

 

 

Mirror decal, bridal shower sign, photo props- Etsy

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I’ve said this over and over, but my bridal shower really did feel like a dream. I cannot believe I am marrying my best friend in a few short months, and it meant SO much to me to have my friends and family at this special event in my life.

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And to all of you who are joining from afar, you feel like friends and family to me, and your sweet comments don’t go unnoticed!

 

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Personalized Thank you cards by For Your Party

 

All photos by Zo’e Cole

 

 

Dr. Majestic

I invite you to take a glimpse into my crazy, beautiful life in medicine and allow me to teach you my health, wellness, and lifestyle tips along the way. 

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