If you’re planning a vacation on the French Riviera, firstly, we’re jealous, and we want to come along. Secondly, it can be a little overwhelming to sort through all of the different cities, and towns in the region to determine what you’ll enjoy the most. This part of the world is dotted with a countless number of sights to explore, and sometimes that can be a little daunting.We’ve cut out the guesswork by highlighting 5 of our favorite spots to kick back in on the French Riviera.
One of the largest cities in France, Nice is a must-visit if you find yourself planning a getaway to this region. Understandably, your first stop here is probably going to be the beach. Though there are a lot of public beaches, there are also a number of private beaches that allow guests to access lockers, chairs, umbrellas, wait staff, etc. making the extra costs well worth it. Hi Beach and Blue Beach are two of our favorite private spots.
Once you’ve soaked up all the sun you take take, a stroll around the old city is a must. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time the moment you step foot upon the winding streets. Stop in to the famed Marché aux Fleurs, Nice’s renowned flower market, on your way there. If you need any more convincing, the Italian influence throughout the city is unmistakable. This of course means that in addition to fabulous French dining options, there are a fair share of truly incredible Italian spots to chose from as well!
2. Èze Village
Despite being less than an hour away from the big city of Nice, Èze Village feels like stepping back in time to a faraway place. While Èze Village could be lumped into Nice as a side note, we figured its uniqueness deserved its own section. Èze Village, the medieval-esque commune, sits more than 1,400 feet above the Mediterranean sea, and many of its shops and restaurants are carved out of the rocky terrain. Make the trek to the top of the village itself through winding steps, and archways to get panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and sea. After taking in the sights, head over to Parfumerie Galimard where you can make your own perfume. If you are feeling indulgent, head over to Château Eza Hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant to enjoy fantastic food with panoramic views of the water far below.
Close to the larger, more populous Marseilles, Cassis is a tiny seaside town with a whole lot of charm. The city is known for its famous calanques or cliffs which you can explore in a number of different ways. Hiking, which will get you the best view, is one of our favorite options. You can visit hereto learn more about the different hiking paths as they can vary based on difficulty. Just note that paths are closed during certain parts of the summer so plan ahead. If you want to take it easier, opt for a boat tour that will take you to see a number of the famous calanques in the region. You can pick up a tour at the port at just about any time making it an easy and stress-free option. In addition to the cliffs, there are a number of wonderful beaches to visit as well. During the evenings, post up at an outdoor table at one of the restaurants right by the water for a little wine and people watching. There is often live entertainment, and a nearby outdoor market to explore as well.
The Mediterranean resort town of Antibes tops the lists of many looking to go all-out in France’s southern paradise. Antibes will live up to every one of your expectations if decadence and relaxation is what you’re after. To every visitors’ delight, the attraction of Antibes doesn’t stop at its beaches and great accommodations. Make sure you set aside some time to wander around the narrow cobble-stoned streets of the old town.
Once you have taken in your fill of the gorgeous architecture, stop by one of the many small restaurants lining the streets to grab some of the classic bistro cuisine that the country is so famous for. While you will likely be wowed by just about any place you stop in to, we recommend giving Le Broc en Bouche a try to taste your very first (or fiftieth) Foie Gras with a glass of wine.
Afterwards, head to Garoupe Lighthouse for some of the best views in the entire French Riviera, (but plan accordingly for the short hike and save your cute shoes for later)! Of course, no visit here is complete without a stop at the Musée Picasso.
If glamour is what you’re after, Cannes is your place. Known for it’s famous film festival, and as a favorite vacation spot for the rich and famous, Cannes oozes with exclusivity. Start off by taking a walk along La Croisette, the famous promenade right along the water. You’ll come across lots of dining options, window shopping, and many of the luxury cars and hotels that the city is famous for.
At some point, you’ll want to get away from the glitzier parts of the city. When that happens, we recommend heading to the Marché Forville, a great market for food and local products. On Mondays, it turns into a flea market, and with prices so high in Cannes, this may be one of your only opportunities to score a good deal! While in Cannes, make sure to carve out some time to take a ferry to the Lérins islands. These islands will offer you stunning views, and they’re a nice way to escape the crowds on the mainland.
From Jane Birkin to Alexa Chung, we’re obsessed with Brit-girl style. There is something a little unkempt, rebellious and yet totally endearing about a London vibe. So this fall, we’re stocking up on a few staples to add some English flair to our wardrobes, and who better to turn to than Topshop? Here, the pieces we’re gravitating towards, and why.
There are a lot of skill sets one can be proud of; we consider making a classic cocktail at the top of that list. Today we’re teaching you how to make five different classic cocktails, so you can literally be the favorite when it comes to your group of friends and the ‘who’s hosting tonight?’ question.
2 ounces Gin or Vodka
1 ounce Sweetened Lime Juice
Juice from 1/2 Lime
Lime slices, garnish
In a shaker, combine gin, sweetened lime juice, fresh lime juice, and a handful ice. Shake well. Strain the cocktail into a glass, garnish with lime.
2 ounces Rye whisky
1/2 teaspoon Honey
3 dashes Bitters — Angostura bitters
Splash Sparkling Water (optional)
Star Anise Seed (optional)
Orange Peel, for garnish
Stir together whiskey, honey, bitters. Serve over ice with a splash of sparkling water, star anise and orange peel garnish.
2 ounces Gin
1 teaspoon Lemon Simple Syrup
1/2 ounce fresh Lemon Juice
Lemon Peel Garnish
Maraschino Cherry, optional
Stir together gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Serve over ice with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with lemon and maraschino cherry.
From Scott Gerber
2 parts Michters Rye
1 part Cocchi Del Torino (Sweet Vermouth)
3 dashes of angostura bitters (per cocktail)
Serve over ice.
1/2 tablespoon Mint Simple Syrup
2 ounces of gin
a glass 2/3 full with shaved ice
3 – 4 sprigs of mint
Lemon Peel, Garnish
In a glass muddle mint with the simple syrup. Fill with shaved ice. Pour in gin and sparkling water. Stir before serving, garnish with lemon peel.
The world of airline tickets, tracking cheap flights, and navigating deals on hotel rooms is, quite frankly, a pretty strange one. We're all left wondering if there is a top secret formula savvy travelers use to score the best flight deals and discounted hotel rooms—and it’s not always clear what that formula is exactly. Where do we (us normal average travel folk) begin? And why do I somehow always end up in the middle seat? While there isn’t one magical answer, these simple tips and tricks will help you achieve affordable travel. And may even take the stress out of trip planning. Happy travels!
1. Last minute deals
The borderline obsessive planner in me cringes at this, but there are some incredible last minute deals to be had. Sites like Expedia or Cheap Carribean have entire sections dedicated to travelers looking for a quick turnaround deal. Hotel Tonight specializes in last minute hotel bookings (you can book up to seven days in advance) that are both affordable and stylish. Whether you need a hotel, flight or an all-inclusive vacation, the travel industry as a whole offers deep discounts for these last minute bookings to avoid unsold rooms or empty seats. If you don’t have a strict timeline or find yourself wanting to get away on a whim, this option might be perfect for you. Remember, last minute travel doesn’t mean you can’t go on a well-planned, thoughtful trip! The key is simply to be ready to book at a moments notice (and be flexible!). Maybe good things really do come to those who wait.
This website is a lifesaver. If you’ve never heard of it, do yourself a favor and bookmark it immediately! Skyscanner compiles flight data from hundreds of airlines in order to provide you with the best deals on flights. In addition, the site allows you to customize your search depending on how flexible you are on dates and locations. For example, if you want to take a vacation in the month of March and have a few destination ideas in mind, Skyscanner will do all of the legwork for you. Simply enter your home city and the dates (exact dates or review prices for a whole month) and set the destination airport to “everywhere.” The site will show costs to travel to just about any city in the world. This feature is helpful when you have a budget of say, $500, but are unsure how far you can go. Hipmunk is another good resource that allows you to review flight costs over the course of a month.
3. Be flexible
Deep breath, my fellow type-A ladies. Sometimes it can be hard, but one of the absolute best ways to save on your next vacation is to be flexible in any and all ways possible. I’ve been known to take it to the next level when it comes to planning a trip so this was certainly a hard one for me to accept. Even just the tiniest ounce of flexibility can really help! This includes things like adjusting the timing of your trip to avoid traveling during high season or flying on a weekday morning instead of on a weekend. Also, be strategic in your planning. Obviously everyone wants to escape winter weather and travel to the Caribbean in mid-January but it’s also one of the most expensive times to travel to the region. So something as simple as waiting until March or April can save hundreds of dollars on flights and hotels. Also consider alternative lodging such as apartment rentals or hostels which are often much more affordable (but still comfortable and stylish) than your average hotel. If your vacation itinerary is a whirlwind of five cities in two weeks, consider paring down a bit. You’ll save on transportation, and you’ll find the trip more enjoyable if you aren’t unpacking and repacking every other day. When you’re traveling, plans change often and unexpected surprises come up. Being flexible and keeping an open mind from the get-go will make your entire trip more enjoyable.
4. Consider Nearby Airports
Many major cities in the U.S. and abroad have secondary airports that can often be much cheaper than the main city airport. Why? Landing fees vary from airport to airport and can play a big role in the cost of the ticket. Flying to or from an airport that has lower fees can ultimately mean lower prices for you. If you’re flying to or from a smaller airport (especially if your airport is regional instead of national or international), the limited number of available flights and airlines can drive the cost up. The bottom line is that airlines have a complicated system that determines ticket prices, and your best bet is to check nearby airports. Sites like Travelocityand Skyscanner allow you to search for nearby airports (and are a great place to start). Why fly to Miami when you can fly to Ft. Lauderdale (just 30 miles away) for $150 cheaper? Tip: Factor in extra ground transportation costs to ensure that you’re actually saving money by flying to a secondary airport. The last thing you want is to spend even more money and time on transportation when you arrive.
5. Loyalty Programs
Building a relationship with an airline or hotel via loyalty programs can be a huge money saver. This option takes a bit more research, but if you frequent the same airports or hotels, a loyalty program is a great option! Since it feels like there are approximately two million different airline and hotel loyalty programs (just me?) each with their own pros and cons, take the time to sit down and assess your travel needs. Some programs are free while others require you to sign up for a credit card and pay an annual fee. Think about the places you travel to most frequently. Include cities you travel to in order to see family, places you go for work, or even the city you’re originally from. What airlines fly out of those locations and which one are you flying with the most? Are there certain hotels you go back to time and time again? This can help you determine which program makes sense for you. All of your hard work will pay off when you enroll in a program—enjoy free checked baggage, priority check in, free wifi, and discounted upgrades. Happy trails!
As the warmer weather approaches and the sunshine is upon us, our fitness goals begin to come into focus. We think about slipping on those sundresses and tying up those bathing suits. We consider our health and exercise habits and ask ourselves, “Well…what are you waiting for?”
Spring is the perfect time to set goals and begin a new training routine. And as we start to take the time to exercise we are filled with a vision of discipline, achievement, and newness. Yet there can be snags along the way. Overeating is one of those problems that comes up over and over. During a workout we are expending calories, so it completely makes sense to find ourselves extra hungry after a killer workout. And we absolutely have to replenish our nutrients in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and receive all of the benefits of our workout.
We should find comfort in knowing that it is normal to feel hungrier on the days that we are more active. But how can we control our cravings, while refueling properly, and avoid eating more than we’ve burned? Nutrition and exercise work together to bring us to our optimal point of health and a balanced lifestyle. If we harness our food intake in a way that supports our bodies, we can avoid those crazy "post-workout cravings," avoid overeating, and achieve our fitness goals. Here are a few tips on how to achieve that balance.
1. Drink lots of water.
When we are dehydrated, our hunger sensations are triggered and during workouts we are losing water through sweat while also expelling our sodium. If we don’t rehydrate by drinking water and eating hydrating foods, we often assume the emptiness we feel from lack of hydration is hunger. Most people only drink water when they are thirsty or to wash down food. But we need to be drinking water all of the time, even when we’re not feeling an immediate craving. Sipping cool water all day eliminates bloating, soothes our muscles and organs, and also allows us to tune into our true hunger.
2. Have pre/post-workout meals.
It is important to have a small snack or meal one to two hours prior to working out. Having the proper fuel in your body will enhance your workout and will also help you avoid feeling starved afterwards. A piece of fruit with a handful of nuts is a perfect example of a healthy, energizing pre-workout snack. Within a half hour after working out, allow yourself to have a small post-workout snack. A complex carbohydrate and protein would be the ideal combination to replenish the glycogen you expelled during your workout and to heal and strengthen the muscles you’ve worked. An example of a great post-workout snack would be a Greek yogurt with a half cup of blueberries.
3. Have healthy snacking food on hand.
Always having a healthy snack with you in your bag or at your desk is a great way to avoid overeating. Especially if you’re in high exercise mode, when a craving hits, instead of running to the vending machine it helps to have a nutritious snack on hand. In order to feel more satisfied choose a high protein snack, such as a handful of nuts or a rolled up piece of organic turkey. If you feel more satiated throughout your day, by the time you are ready to sit down for a nice meal, you are a lot less likely to make an unhealthy choice or eat extra helpings.
4. Treat yourself once in a while.
Allowing yourself an indulgence once or twice during your week will truly help avoid those crazy cravings without having a negative affect on all of your hard work. It has been scientifically proven that we always crave what we can’t have. When we give ourselves the option to indulge once in a while, we shift our perspective from one that says we’re sabotaging a new program to one that allows us to truly enjoy a treat after a week of challenging workouts. When we allow ourselves a few squares of dark chocolate or a frozen yogurt we will both get what we need and have less cravings for the kinds and amounts of food we are trying to avoid!
De-stressing is certainly in order after the holidays—and so is a little, extra warmth and tender loving care. While we'd all love a day at the spa, treatments can get a bit expensive, especially when we're trying to be smart with our budgets at the beginning of the year. So we recommend unwinding with a toasty and luxurious bath at home to feel refreshed and calmly reflect on your new year’s aspirations.
With that said, we thought it helpful to design a go-to shopping list for crafting a delicious at-home bathing experience complete with our favorite body cleansers, salts, soaks, moisturizers and the little extras that turn routine cleansing into a nighttime treat. The holidays are over—this shopping list is solely for you...enjoy!
Rich like milk blended with vanilla, coconut and cream, this pure vegetable soap is a Godsend in winter. This 8oz bar is enhanced with shea butter and olive oil to both moisturize and protect your skin. Rich and creamy, this triple milled soap will last all winter long. Available at Amazon and Drugstore.com.
Made with natural cactus sisal bristles, use this to leave your skin looking bright, fresh and even. Use before bathing to dry: brush gently all the way up the body towards the heart to stimulate circulation or take inside the bath for an invigorating massage and cleanse. Beauty bonus: Promotes healthy skin circulation and removal of dead skin cells. Available at Aroma Therapy Associates.
Try this radiant mercury jar that shimmers like the starry winter night. This rich golden amber fragrance leaves your bathroom smelling cozy and inviting. Rich cedar wood and golden amber are infused with mandarin, vanilla and tobacco to enrich your nighttime bath with a warm, irresistible aroma. Available at Illume.
This muscle soak is scented with pure sweet birch essential oil, known to naturally soothe sore muscles by stimulating sweat glands—allowing the body to release harmful toxins. Its wintergreen scent is perfect for the chilly months ahead and for opening up sinuses and relieving foot, neck, and muscle aches. We also love Pacha’s social initiatives to create better standards of hygiene in developing nations. Sold at Whole Foods and Pacha.com.
We like to call this Pink Gold. Colored naturally with Hawaiian red salt and scented only with true geranium and rosewood essential oils, this bath soak truly leaves you feeling energized. Also works great as a full body scrub, too. Sold at Whole Foods and Pacha.com.
We can’t get enough of this luxurious nighttime mask designed to quench our skin’s thirst. This intensive moisture replacement mask complete with avocado and apricot kernel oil deeply and instantly quenches dry skin, with Japanese seaweed forming a barrier to prevent future dehydration and signs of premature aging. Beauty Bonuses: It’s free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates, removes dry elbow patches and aids in shaving. Available at Sephora.
This rich, non-greasy, hydrating body moisturizer is a favorite of ours—and many a beauty guru. Enriched with the finest skin-nurturing ingredients, this seductively rich cream leaves skin soft, smooth and beautifully moisturized. Works wonderfully as a hand lotion as well. Available at Kiehls.
We adore this yummy knit for lounging and even throwing over our shoulders while on our computers. This toasty throw was designed for snuggling with after a nice bath. We love the warmth and style delivered by its cozy and luxurious ruffles. We also love layering this over bedding for added warmth and fashion appeal; file under “obsessed.” Available at Kohls.