We are living for Louis Vuitton’s newest collaboration with artist Jeff Koons, dubbed “The Masters“. The collection is decidedly high brow. Koons samples from some of the great classic artists to have ever lived, emblazoning some of their most iconic painting across Louis Vuitton’s canvases. The artists include Fragonard (pictured), Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Rubens and Titian. We love how the Old Masters are remixed and given new life by the collection. The prints are bold, and not for everyone, but they are near the top of our wish list right now.
We were very fortunate to spend two nights at one of Ireland’s most famous, and luxe, hotels this March: The Shelbourne. Situated in the middle of City Center, The Shelbourne is walking distance to nearly everything you’d want to visit in Dublin.
Everything about the Shelbourne indicates luxury and a five-star stay, but we also really loved how they seamlessly incorporated the history of the building with modern luxuries and conveniences. Once you walk into the hotel you immediately pick up on its vibe and point of view. Stunning crystal chandeliers hang from the ceilings and there are ample fireplaces throughout the lobby, creating cozy little nooks for guests. One of our favorite things to do was to get a glass of wine and sip it by one of the cozy fireplaces pretending to be ladies of leisure.
They keep a small museum in the lobby celebrating the hotel’s storied 200-year-old history. (It was opened in 1824). It’s where the Irish Constitution was drafted in 1922 and the hotel also has historic guest registers on display, photos and letters from famous guests. Fun fact: Both John F. Kennedy and Princess Grace have stayed at the hotel, meaning you’ll be able to have a stay fit for royalty.
At reception, we were greeted with a fresh glass of lemonade and then were shown to our room. Our bathroom was stocked with luxury Elemis bath products and had a full shower and a free-standing bath. The hotel stocks the bathroom with bath salts if you want to soak, which is a nice touch.
Our room was gigantic. Not even just gigantic for a Manhattanite (I could probably fit four of my apartments inside our room), but objectively large. The bed had fine linens and the comfiest mattress and pillows you could ask for. I absolutely sunk into it after a long day and night exploring the city and its pubs and it made it all the more harder to get out of bed in the morning.
We secretly loved that every person we met in Dublin would give us a knowing look after they asked where we were staying and we responded in unison, “The Shelbourne.” I can’t tell you how many times local Irish men were impressed with our choice of hotel, and usually responded with something along the lines of “Of course you two are staying at the nicest hotel in Dublin.”
We loved the location and rarely took taxis anywhere. On average, we racked up 8 miles a day in walking to all of the museums, monuments, churches etc. Just a few blocks away is Grafton Street, which is home to Dublin’s best shopping.
Across the street from the hotel is St. Stephen’s Green, a beautiful park that we went on daily morning runs in. For those who prefer other forms of exercise, The Shelbourne has a wonderful gym and swimming pool and also offers workout classes such as spinning, tabata and pilates. There are also swim-focused classes if you prefer to be in the water.
Their bar room was one of the prettiest bars I’ve ever been in. High ceilings with chandeliers that looked like they were dripping diamonds are throughout. The most intricate crown molding lines the walls and there are cozy fireplaces. We made it a habit to have a glass of wine here each night before heading out.
One of the activities we did at The Shelbourne that we would highly recommend, even if you end up staying elsewhere, is their Afternoon Tea. Shelbourne is considered to have one of the best Afternoon Teas in Dublin. They host it in their Lord Mayor’s Lounge, which has comfy oversized upholstered chairs and large windows letting in the sunshine. For two hours you have a choice of unlimited teas (our favorite was the strawberry and cream blend) and you have savory tea sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam and an array of the most beautiful desserts (raspberry macaroons stuffed with jam and cheesecake or salted caramel mousse, anyone?)
They have a number of seatings, but this is what we recommend. Book the 3:00 seating, sightsee all morning, skip lunch and have tea instead. Better yet, pair it with their champagne or a few glasses of wine, like we did. Be sure to book this well in advance if it’s something you’re interested in experiencing as it does fill up weeks in advance.
Shelbourne’s breakfast was such a highlight each morning. They host it in their Saddle Room and it includes a hot and cold buffet where you can find all the items to make a traditional Irish breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, blood pudding, mushroom, tomatoes), a selection of fruits and yogurts and pastries, etc. They also have a menu you can order omelettes, eggs benedict, French toast and other breakfasts from and a range of delicious juices. We started each day with a healthy breakfast to fuel us up for hours of walking around Dublin and hitting up all of the museums. We also loved that they had a full juice bar offering.
For those looking for a little pampering, The Shelbourne has a beautiful spa and a new salon where you can get blowouts before a night out. The spa offers everything from couple’s massages to waxing and facials. The salon was super chic and soothing. All white with a beautiful embellished fireplace and classic feel. Their blowout menu features styles that emulate Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot and Jackie O, among others.
The staff at the hotel are super friendly and attentive. Whether it came to making sure our tea was always immediately topped off or turn down service each night complete with chocolates bedside and slippers laid out, it was truly five star.
Looking to book a trip to Ireland? Make sure to check out our complete Travel Guide here.
A friend and I recently visited Ireland for four nights to get a mix of their history, natural beauty and city life. It was a short trip – just four nights – but was such a fun trip where we got a true feel for the culture, people and took in the beautiful scenes. Having just spent time in both Dublin and Cork, here’s a look at our Travel Guide, which covers a lot of ground in a short period of time.
You’d be remiss to visit Ireland and not spend a few days in their most thriving city, Dublin. It’s as cosmopolitan as any other major city but has quaint touches such as Georgian architecture, pubs dating back hundreds of years and beautiful parks.
Where to Stay:
The Shelbourne. The Shelbourne is considered the best hotel in all of Dublin, and having just stayed there, we can see why. It’s centrally located in city center, meaning you can walk to nearly all the sights worth seeing in Dublin, and it’s the definition of what a five star hotel should be. You feel pampered from the second you walk through the door because of the staff, the concierge is wonderful and goes above and beyond to make reservations and suggestions for you, and the building is home to some of Dublin’s most momentous historic events. The food and drinks as well as the amenities the hotel has to offer are top rate. Read our post on our stay at The Shelbourne here to learn more.
What to Do:
Chester Beatty Library: This free museum is a treasure within Dublin and worth visiting even if you only dedicate 20 minutes to the vast collection of religious artifacts, prints and books.
Book of Kells and Trinity College: Any trip to Dublin would be incomplete without visiting Trinity College and the Book of Kells. First you walk through the cobblestone campus of Trinity College, one of Ireland’s best research colleges. Then, see the world’s most famous medieval manuscript, the book of Kells, and learn about its history. End the trip with a walk through the Old Library, which was my favorite part of the visit. This beautiful hall houses some of the most famous works in the world dating back hundreds of years, and each aisle is lined with the bust of a great author. I literally could have spent hours in the Old Library perusing the titles.
Run in St. Stephen’s Green: If you decide to stay in the Shelbourne, there is a beautiful public park just across the street where we went running each morning. It’s delightfully green and lined with bright yellow daffodils. Swans and ducks swim in the lake in the middle of the park, so you get some beautiful scenery while getting a workout in.
Guinness Storehouse: Ireland is synonymous with their famous beer, and the Guinness Storehouse is a shrine to the beer company’s history. Housed in an actual working factory, this museum of sorts gives you the download on how beer is made, Guinness’s history and founder and other fun facts. You’ll also learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness and get a complimentary glass of Guinness to enjoy one their rooftop bar, Gravity Bar, that has some of the most stunning views of all of Dublin. Book tickets online ahead of your trip and give yourself two hours to get the full experience. Booking online will save you 30% on the ticket price.
Shop on Grafton Street: Dublin’s most famous high street and shopping district is Grafton Street. It has shops ranging from Ted Baker to Marks & Spencer and is just a two-minute walk from the Shelbourne. Meander down Grafton Street on your way to the Book of Kells and Trinity College, as it’s on the way. Just remember to give yourself some time to stop into the shops.
Day Trip to Cliffs of Moher: Dublin is pretty close to Ireland’s scenic Cliffs of Moher, which is something not to be missed on a trip to Ireland. We will chronicle the tour we did, and highly recommend, later on, but be sure to put this high on your list and to dedicate a day to it. You can also do Galway for dinner and drinks on the way back. The city is known for its nightlife and is pretty near to Dublin.
Where to Eat and Drink:
One Pico: This Michelin-star restaurant turns out delicious food in an upscale but unpretentious atmosphere.
Afternoon Tea at the Shelbourne: Afternoon tea is an institution in all of the U.K. and the Shelbourne’s Afternoon Tea is the best of the bunch in Dublin. Be sure to make your reservations well in advance of arriving, as they book up very early. Our suggestion is to have breakfast, do some sightseeing and book a 3 p.m. seating for afternoon tea. If you skip lunch that day, you will have enough tummy real estate to enjoy all of the wonderful sandwiches and desserts. Each seating is two hours long and includes unlimited tea. You can read more about our afternoon tea here.
Temple Bar: Temple Bar is an entire area of town dedicated to pubs and live music. Yes, it’s touristy, but it’s also a ton of fun. We went to Temple Bar after dinner one night with the intention of stopping in for “just one drink” so that we could say we experienced it. Famous last words. Hours upon hours later we made our way back home. We spent most of the night at a pub actually called Temple Bar, which had a great live band, stiff drinks and lots of fun Dubliners.
O’Donoghues: This famous pub is known for local musical acts swinging by for impromptu jam sessions. The pub is very large and attracts a good crowd of locals and workers in the area looking for happy hour. After 9, a circle of local musicians forms in the front bar and play traditional Irish music together.
Just a few hours from Dublin, Ireland’s second city is well worth a visit during a trip to Ireland. Cork is the perfect launching point to explore Ireland’s majestic Ring of Kerry and other parts of the countryside. Ireland has lovely rail and bus systems complete with Wifi which make getting from Dublin to Cork a breeze. Cork itself is full of great bars, live music and shopping.
Where to Stay:
The Maryborough Hotel & Spa: Set in a beautiful 18th Century country house, The Maryborough is the perfect spot for a luxury getaway. It’s just a bit outside of Cork, meaning you can get to the bars and restaurants of the city within 10 minutes, but honestly, we preferred to stay at the estate. From the beautiful furnishings that preserved the look of the building in its heyday, mixed with modern luxuries, including a state of the art spa and gym, we relished our time at The Maryborough. Its restaurant is top notch, and the grounds are a lush green that give you every bit the escape you picture when heading to Ireland’s countryside. Here’s a separate post on our stay at The Maryborough.
Where to Eat & Drink:
Bellini’s: Set inside the Maryborough Hotel, this restaurant has a delightful menu filled with locally-sourced ingredients. The flavors are complex and the presentation is impeccable. You can read more about our meal at Bellini’s in our write up of our stay at The Maryborough later this week.
The Oliver Plunkett: This two-story bar is an institution in Ireland. Both levels have live acts playing. The upstairs was more our scene. A young Irish singer sang cover songs while we danced and sipped whiskey. It’s a fun, light-hearted atmosphere with stiff drinks.
Crane Lane: If you’re looking for live music, this place is the spot. It’s massive, with a bunch of different rooms with different acts going. Some are indie, some are more traditional Irish. The crowd is young and fun an the drinks are really inexpensive.
What to Do:
The Ring of Kerry: One of the highlights of our trip was exploring Ireland’s Ring of Kerry, which is a TK. You are spoiled for views the entire time, whether it’s cliffs off of the Atlantic Ocean, lush farmlands, old castles, waterfalls etc. We felt that the Ring of Kerry encapsulated everything in our minds when we thought of what Ireland would be and look like, and it actually exceeded those expectations on every front. We booked a bus tour with Paddywagon tours, but there are a number of tours to the Ring of Kerry to choose from.
This last weekend I was out of town and between eating a lot of sugar I normally wouldn’t touch, to not drinking water and not using my Clarisonic daily, my skin is showing the abuse.
I bought the Clarisonic back in 2008 and it’s still one of top go-tos in terms of my beauty regime. This rotating brush, which costs around $150, rotates on your skin, removing dirt, oil and dead skin cells all while being gentle. It has an exfoliating quality, and when I use it regularly because I’m not traveling, the results are visible.
If you haven’t used one, it’s a great way to keep your skin really clean and prevent breakouts. It also adds a glow, because of the exfoliation and pulsing of the brush. I’ve noticed that when I use it, my moisturizers absorb better, as do my eye creams. I use mine in the shower before bed before applying all of my night creams and serums.
If you’re a beauty junkie, it’s worth adding to your daily routine and the whole process is just one minute long. I change the brush head every three to four months, and that’s pretty much all the maintenance it needs. Also, they suggest you use their line of cleansers, but I pair it with my favorite face wash.
I’ve been loving the silhouette of structured sweaters with dramatic sleeves. Thinks extended bells and ruffles and other touches that really step up any sweater-jean combination. Here are some of our favorites:
Confession time: I just ordered this sweater from Storets in two colors. Absolutely love everything about it. And, it’s just $68.
I also ordered this pullover from Storets, $54. Love it paired with skinny jeans and heels.
Loving the Victorian feel of this Overlay blouse with lacy ruffled sleeves, $72.
The color-contrasting outline on these sleeves has me hooked.
Bow-ties, oh my! Love this Mary Ribbon sweater.
I decided to majorly upgrade my workout wear at the beginning of the year because of all the time I spend at the gym and at workout classes. Plus, I find I’m either going to classes with my friends or meeting up with them after, so I’ve been more focused on the fashion plus technical aspects of what I’m wearing. So, I recently turned to Tasc Performance’s workout pants, which are made with bamboo. This means the fabric is moisture wicking, soft and breathes. One of my favorite parts — it doesn’t retain the smell of sweat like the fabrics, which is a definite plus.
I’ve been living in their Nola leggings, which are ankle length and have a great fit. They are also very reasonable at $54.
If you’re into more of a cropped look, their Bayou Booty crop leggings are the way to go.
The brand also makes other pieces such as shirts and hoodies and accessories.
Who says you need a significant other to spoil you this Valentine’s Day? Whether you’re spending the day with someone special or your Galentine’s, I view it as an excuse to shop. Really, I view everything as an excuse to shop if I’m being honest. Here’s what’s on the top of our Valentine’s Day Wish Lists.
These super lush Kitzbuhel slip ons from Avec Moderation, $225, are an absolute dream. I have them and they are often my piece de resistance — the one part of an outfit that everyone comments on. This Italian brand is based in Florence and takes a distinctly Italian view towards luxury and craftsmanship. The fur is faux, but is whimsical and feminine and I love wearing them around indoors and outside.
A super sexy lace body suit from Fluer du Mal? Yes please. The one pictured is $395.
Giving yourself the gift of a good sleep (and a luxurious one at that) is the definition of pampering. We love silk pillow cases from Slip, $99.
A box of chocolates goes straight to the thighs. This box of lace briefs from Cosabella is much preferred. Nine pairs for $280.
We chronicled earlier this week our new eating plan, which is all about eliminating sugars and processed foods from our diet. Like I said in the last post, it takes more planning than eating whatever you want and one of the pitfalls people fall into is not having healthy snacks on you to grab, causing you to pick up something unhealthy to satiate a sugar craving. So, I’ve stocked up on some protein-packed snacks that taste delicious, have very little sugar and are very filling. When I started planning my meal plan, I noticed that not every protein bar is created equal. So many are pretty much sugar-filled candy bars disguised as protein bars, so we’ve done the research to find ones that are really healthy. Here’s what we’ve been picking on.
Buff Bake: Their protein cookies and almond butters are almost too good to be healthy (but they are, we promise). Their cookies make a great snack or meal replacement and come in delicious flavors such as white chocolate peanut butter (my personal favorite flavor), frosted oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodle and birthday cake. Are you sold yet? A whole cookie is around 300 calories and has 16 grams of protein. They have around 16 grams of sugar in each cookie. Super filling, colorful and the packaging is bright and fun. Whenever I whip one out, people just assume I’m cheating on my diet, and sometimes it tastes like I am, without the guilt. They also have a line of fun, flavorful protein almond butters in flavors such as birthday cake (so yummy), snickerdoodle and rocky road. One of my favorite snacks is putting some of the almond butter on a banana or apple.
D’s Naturals: This plant-based wellness company has an amazing line of protein bars and “fluff butters” that are unlike most on the market. Their No Cow Bars are dairy free and made with organic brown rice, pea proteins and other natural ingredients. Their flavors are great, such as raspberry truffle, lemon meringue and peanut butter chocolate chip. What I also like is the consistency of the bars. They aren’t chocolate coated and have a chewy nature to them. At around 170 calories a bar, they pack a lot of protein, with 21 grams and just 1 gram of sugar. Their fluff butters are protein-infused nut butters in flavors such as chocolate s’mores and brownie batter. They’re also dairy free and very low in sugar.
RXBar: I first noticed these bars at Starbucks and liked that it prominently listed every ingredient in them, boldly on the front of its packaging. When you read the label, it’s all natural ingredients and no fillers. They typically have more than 10 grams of protein and contain ingredients such as egg whites, dates, cashews, almonds, and other power foods. Added bonus: it’s Whole30 approved. They are gluten free and dairy free, too, which is an added benefit for those trying to eliminate both from their diets.
Zing Bars: These great snacks come in a variety of flavors and types — chocolate covered, soft cookie and nut butter and fruit. At around 200 calories, the have around 10 grams of protein and around 10 grams of sugar. The flavors are super yummy — my favorite is almond blueberry, but the dark chocolate-dipped bars are great when you need a 3pm pick me up. I keep them in my desk next to me at work so when the craving strikes, I have something healthy to reach for.
With the new year in full swing, I’ve decided to completely overhaul my eating plan. I’ve always eaten pretty healthfully, but lack of planning, laziness and too much alcohol caused empty calories, salt, sugars and the occasional carb to creep into my diet, which is something I’ve set out to rid in 2017. So, for the last few weeks (and going forward the rest of the year) I’ve set out to eliminate any processed foods and added sugars from my diet and to eat as cleanly as I can. I’ve decided to share my tips, since friends have been asking as well.
First of all, what I’ve learned is that eating this way is not as painful as I initially had anticipated. I have a lot more energy, I feel full and I am MUCH LESS bloated than I used to be. It’s easy to forget all of sugar’s harmful effects that cause bloating, bad skin and weight gain, and I’ve noticed an immediate difference since starting this new way of eating.
This diet (I hate even calling it that) requires much more planning and diligence, so I’ve been ordering weekly grocery deliveries so that I can meal prep. Basically, the end of each week I look at the calendar for the following week and sort out how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners I plan on eating at home, so I know what and how many ingredients to order. My daily diet tends to look a lot like this:
Breakfast: iced coffee with almond milk and a protein bar with very little sugar. I’ve been turning to D’s Naturals and Buff Bakery for breakfast because their bars/cookies are super tasty, packed with protein and have very little sugar. If I don’t have a bar, I’ll have a Fage Greek yogurt for breakfast. (Greek yogurt is pretty much the only dairy I allow myself to have)
Lunch: This is one of my favorite lunches to make and is super easy. I make a salad of arugula or kale, roasted chicken, avocado, grapes, kidney beans, tomatoes and raisins with red wine vinegar. I make it the night before and dress it in the morning.
Dinner: I either repeat what I’ve had for lunch or use my crockpot to make a low-fat turkey chilli, packed with protein from kidney beans or make shredded chicken in the crockpot. On nights I eat out for dinner (pretty often), I order simply grilled fish with loads of green veggies.
Snacks: Throughout the day I keep either Zing protein bars on me or RXbar protein bars. (These are amazing and basically taste like dessert even though they are super healthy). I also grab fruits such as bananas and put protein almond butters from Buff Bakery or D’s Naturals on them. These almond butters taste so good you almost feel guilty eating them because they feel like an indulgence, but are low fat and low sugar.
The most difficult part of this diet has been cutting back on alcohol. I’d pretty much kill for a large glass of red wine, but I do have to say that not drinking has also helped on the bloat and also helped with weight loss. Added plus: I’m never hung over, so my workouts, sleep and productivity are better. While I plan on resuming my drinking later in February, I think I’ll cut back on the amount in order to keep up these results.
An added bonus: I’m saving a ton more money eating this way. Before doing this, I’d grab breakfast or lunch when I got into the office, shelling out $6-$7 for a coffee and yogurt and around $12 for a soup that was low in protein and high in salt. Now, on average breakfast costs $2 and lunch is around $5 for all of the ingredients each day, so that’s a pretty big savings. I also enjoy making my coffee each day which I find oddly cathartic. Strangely, I don’t miss the carbs and sugars and feel oddly satiated, knowing that I’m fueling my body in the right way.
Stay tuned for our comprehensive post of our favorite healthy, protein-packed snacks coming later this week! Also, we’ll be incorporating more fitness-focused posts into the blog this year, so let us know what you want us to write about.
The designers that brought us the “it” bucket bag that has dominated West Village brunch circuits and the Hamptons for the better part of four years is now branching out into clothing. Mansur Gabriel will launch a ready to wear line of clothing that is set to debut at September’s fashion week. “Creatively, we were always ready,” said co-designer Rachel Mansur to the Business of Fashion. The line will be available in-season as the fashion community shift to on-demand collections driven by the power of social media.