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Our Trip to Paris & London

visiting-the-eiffel-tower

We just got back from London not too long ago. We actually flew into Paris for a few days then took the train to London for the next few days to adventure, and of course, watch Mike’s game, which is why we were there in the first place! I had an amazing time with my family and so glad I got to experience an overseas trip with them!

First Stop… Paris!

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The flight from Texas to Paris was about 8 and a half hours and it honestly wasn’t too bad. I have a post up already all about the travel and how I did it pregnant + with a toddler which you can read, here.

We stayed in Paris for about three days at the Castille Paris which I loved! The hotel was fantastic, but personally I enjoyed it even more so because we were right next door to Chanel and lots of the other shopping!

Of course, I had a look around at all the stores but truly didn’t find anything I “had to have“. Surprise surprise, I know!! Just going in and looking around at how big and beautiful the actual stores are—and the specific pieces they carry—was pretty cool to see!!

I will admit I’m not huge on venturing out of my comfort zone when it comes to food—especially when pregnant. I like what I like and it’s hard for me to try new things, especially in a different country. So if I’m being honest, I don’t have any specific places I recommend this time around but I did go back to a couple of the places I reviewed before in my last Paris travel diary.

The first place we went to was the Eiffel Tower! No matter how many times you see it, it is truly breathtaking and so unbelievable to see in person.

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I feel so blessed to have been able to take our daughter there at such a young age and I can’t wait to share these photos and memories with her in the future. She loved it there and told everyone she saw “THE Eiffel Tower.”

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She also loved saying “Bonjour” and “Merci” the whole trip! So cute!!

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She actually woke up the other morning and was looking out of the window and said, “I miss Paris“—which I thought was the cutest thing!!

While in Paris we also visited the Palace of Versailles which is, again, amazing to see in person.

Just the detail of the architecture and the history behind it all was a beautiful experience.

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Then we visited the Basilique Du Sacre Coeur De Montmartre which is a beautiful, famous church. There are stunning paintings and architecture inside and right outside, they have a market with plenty to walk around, see and enjoy: chocolate, sandwiches, tea, caricature drawings and more.

Plus it was on top of a huge hill that overlooked almost the whole city of Paris!! Stunning.

We ended one of our evenings with a beautiful river cruise that took us past the sparkling Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and some other great historical monuments!

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We used Chabé Limousines for our transportation the whole time we were in Paris. They were really helpful and got us everywhere safely and efficiently… plus it was super helpful because I didn’t have to travel with a car seat for this trip since they provided one the whole time. That in itself made getting around with a toddler super convenient

Next Stop… London!

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We rode the train to London which was a cool experience—for everyone! Believe it or not, it was the first time we’d ever been on a train. Ariah loved it and I was surprised by how quickly we got from Paris to London. I highly suggest it to anyone who’s looking to do the same.

We got to London and stayed at the St. James Hotel & Club. Similar to where we stayed in Paris, this hotel was fairly close to everything—like walking distance to Buckingham Palace, a must-see in London—and we very much enjoyed staying there!

At Buckingham Palace, we saw the Changing of the Guards, which is a huge ceremony every day at 11 AM (10 AM on Sundays), when a new set of the Queen’s soldiers switch out shifts. It’s a VERY a big deal to see so it was exciting to see with my whole family… even my brother!

The Queen was not there at the time we visited but a couple of days after we left we heard she was in her carriage for a parade in London! We so wish we could have seen that!

Thankfully, Ariah got to see all the carriages over the centuries/decades at the palace which was her favorite part because, of course, she’s obsessed with anything to do with queens and princesses right now!!

We also visited the British Museum, another must-see on our list!!

Finally, we got to watch the Bucs play the Carolina Panthers which did not end up great for our team but was definitely a fun experience. I’m glad we got to go and enjoy the game as a family in a new way!!

If we had more time in London I would have loved to have:

  • Had tea at the RITZ
  • Visited the London Eye
  • Seen Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross
  • And, ride a double-decker bus

You can bet these are all on my bucket list to experience next time in London.

Overall, we had the best time. I’m so happy I got to take my baby girl on her first overseas trip, plus I’ll always remember being pregnant with our baby boy during this time.

Once again, another unforgettable adventure!!

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Our 2-Year Anniversary Trip to Paris

So if you’ve been keeping up with me, then you know we recently just went to Paris for our two year anniversary and I will say that it was absolutely the best trip I’ve ever been on in my life!

I have been so excited for this trip that I even had fun packing for it- I just couldn’t wait to get there! We left on Thursday, February 8th from Houston… but not without a minor hiccup or two. We were supposed to be on a 4 PM flight but (little did we know) the flight was actually canceled a day earlier- and we didn’t find out until we were pulling up at the airport! Thank goodness, my mom happened to be looking up the flight to try and track us!

I was DEVASTATED! I was certain that it wasn’t meant to be and, of course, this would be our luck!

Mike went to go check it out and (thankfully) it turned out they put us on a later flight that night at 10 PM and we were finally off!

We flew British Airways and WOW, the plane was amazing! It was the best first class cabin I have ever seen and the seats were perfect! They were like little pods just for you- perfect for sleeping and watching movies… which is what I did the entire way!

We finally landed in Paris and it was freezing! There was snow covering the ground and it was so pretty! Believe it or not, I’ve never in my life seen real snow before so I expected it to stay for days, but turns out the snow quickly melted within a day of us being there! But it was still freezing!

Where We Stayed

We arrived at our hotel around 5 PM the next evening. We stayed at Hotel Barriere Le Fouquet’s. It was a dream location to stay at in Paris I must say; we were in the middle of EVERYTHING: amazing food, shopping (literally right across from Louis Vuitton) and sightseeing were all within walking distance or just a 5 minute Uber ride away! We also enjoyed a couples massage at the hotel’s spa which was so relaxing after traveling for so long- safe to say, my husband definitely knows what I enjoy! All in all, everything from start to finish (including the incredible customer service) was perfect for our stay!

What We Ate

The first two meals we had were super authentic French restaurants that we thought would be a good idea to try. Turns out, not so much. I can’t even tell you the names of them because I don’t remember, but I’m a picky eater (especially when I go out of the country) and we really didn’t enjoy those meals. Thankfully, we found a Five Guys but this one was a little different. Apparently, it’s a huge tourist attraction because the lines were out the door, it was three stories tall and we had to wait for someone to get done eating to snatch a table as quickly as we could!

It tasted just like Five Guys in America though so we ate there twice! I also found a pizza spot, Pizza Vesuvio, right behind our hotel so we ate there twice and it was the best Italian food EVER! I ordered Lasagna and it was so good that we had to go again so Mike could get it the next time. We also tried another Italian restaurant, Vapiano, that Mike’s best friend (who we also visited while we were there since he’s playing basketball overseas there) told us about. This place had THE BEST PASTA I’ve ever tasted! They make it just for you, exactly how you want it, right in front of you… so that was pretty cool as well!

We also had a super romantic dinner at Le Jules Verne inside the Eiffel Tower which was quite an adventure in itself! We got to get all dressed up, making the whole night super fun.

The dinner was different than what we are used to: five small entrees and they bring them out every time you finish one with just a few bites each. For the most part, we had no clue what we were eating but we still ate it and it wasn’t THAT bad just very different. But the experience itself was just amazing getting to ride up the elevator to the restaurant, overlooking the whole city during dinner.

What We Did

Of course, we shopped till we dropped… well I did… after all, like I mentioned we were right in the middle of all the best shopping in Paris! With every shop within walking distance, I was bound to wind up in trouble there! We went to LV, Gucci, YSL, Chanel, Zara, H&M, and a few others. We had the most luck in LV and YSL where I purchased two bags: a LV Neverfull MM in the Damier Ebene material with the Rose Ballerine interior and the YSL Black Croc Nano Sac de Jour Tote which are super amazing investments in my collections that I will have for years to come!!


We visited The Louvre which is definitely something you have to see when in Paris! Even just the outside is so beautiful with the architecture of the buildings and the pyramids- it’s unbelievable! So gorgeous!

This is also where they hold the Mona Lisa and many other historic monuments in Paris! Plus, did you know it’s the largest museum in the world?

We rode The Big Wheel at Place de la Concorde at a sunset which was absolutely beautiful with views of The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Champs-Elysées- it was breathtaking especially at sunset!


We attached our locks on the “Love Lock Bridge” over the Seine River.


Of course, we went to the Eiffel Tower about three times during our trip because how can you not?


It’s a sight to see and it’s the one MUST that you have to experience when visiting Paris! It was truly amazing to see especially at night during the light show when it’s lit up and sparkling! WOW- It’s STUNNING!

Champs-Elysées is one of the most popular areas in Paris, which is where we stayed. SO many great places to shop, eat, great hotels, close to all the main attractions in Paris- it’s just the best location and everyone is out and about, dressed to impressed! It’s the ideal place to stay in or near when in Paris!

We even went to go see Fifty Shades FREED at the UGC Normandie Theater right across from our hotel. They showed the movie in English but with French subtitles (which was clearly fine with us being in France after all) I just couldn’t wait any longer to go see it!

My Overall Experience….

It’s one that I will never, ever forget and honestly, the only place I can say that I would LOVE to travel back to. With the fashion, scenery and romance, it was just so ME and I loved everything about it… once we found food we liked of course!  I loved the time of year that we went because the cold weather made it perfect to wear all of my super cute jackets I’ve been dying to wear. I am so happy that I got to experience it all with the love of my life because there’s no one on this planet I would have rather witnessed all that with… easily, it was one for the books for us! We will definitely… GOD willing… go back one day! 🙂

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What’s In My Carry On Bag + My Best Travel Tips

Mike and I just got back from our two-year anniversary trip to Paris- and OMG, it was absolutely the BEST trip I have ever been on! (I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it in my next post!)

But today’s post is going to be all about my best traveling tips and what I packed in my carry on to PARIS!

Since I do travel so much, I’ve gotten used to packing (like a pro), whether it’s back and forth from Florida to Texas, a weekend getaway, flying with the baby or even going out of the country!

The point is… my experience (for better or worse) is here to help you today! Here’s what was in my carry on for a 10-hour flight out of the country:

Roll-On Carry-On
For this trip I checked a big suitcase for all of my clothes, shoes and beauty products- especially the ones over 3.4 fl oz. (which is the max amount you’re allowed to have in a carry-on, FYI).

I knew I had to bring on a roll-on carry-on for all of my bags, jewelry, camera, and items I would need in case of an emergency, though- that way if my checked bag got lost, everything I care about or REALLY need is in my roll-on!

I always keep this one in the overhead compartment with my blanket and laptop for the plane ride, too! I also have my makeup, an extra set of clothes and travel size toiletries.

Purse/ Tote/ Backpack
In this bag I carry anything I think I will need handy during the flight so this includes:

Passport
Wallet
Cash
Chapstick
Gum
Charger
Pen
Under Eye Patches
Wet Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Vitamin C
Benadryl/ Tylenol PM (we were on a 10 hour flight after all)
Sleep Mask
Makeup Wipes
Book
Jacket

I KNOW… IT SOUNDS like a lot, but these things are all super small (and definitely helpful!)

Packing Tips

Pack Strategically and Organized
This means pack accordingly so that it makes traveling that much easier and you know where everything is if you need to grab it while running through the airport.

I keep a VERY organized purse while traveling because I don’t want to be stressed out digging through my bag while I’m in a hurry… it just doesn’t make for peaceful traveling.

To help stay organized, I keep everything in separate pouches, so, ie: keeping my wallet, passports and boarding pass in my side pouch so those things are always handy, whether I’m checking in my bag, going through security or buying snacks.

Then I keep different pouches or makeup bags for different things, such as: one for my makeup, one for toiletries and one for tech accessories. This really helps me stay organized while traveling (and use all of the cute makeup bags I’ve collected along the way!)

Dress Comfortably For the Weather You’re Traveling To
I’m always prepared for the weather I am flying into because it could be 85 degrees where you’re traveling from and then 30 where you’re going! Carrying a light sweater is always a great idea when flying.

Bring All Necessary Accessories/ Entertainment For Flight
I always make sure to bring whatever is needed to keep myself (or the kids) entertained throughout the flight so I’m not going crazy waiting to land. For me this means always having my headphones, buying WiFi if the flight is super long or having a book or movie ready. Plus, I always have my mini blanket while flying- it’s just a comfort thing and I hardly ever fly without one!

Buy Water/ Snacks Before Your Flight
This is SO important to me because I’ve made the mistake too many times of not buying water… and then as soon as I get on the plane I’m thirsty or my throat hurts because the plane is too stuffy.

Even worse… if I need to make Ariah a bottle ASAP, how do I do it without water?!

Don’t wait until the flight attendant comes around with the cart (OK, so I may be a bit impatient) but I just think it’s better to go ahead and buy water after I get through the security gates.

With a bottle of water and a snack, I’m good to go the whole flight without waiting around for a small cup of water!