A Day Downtown // Fredericksburg, VA

In need of a good meal and some retail therapy, my roommate and I took a trip to downtown Fredericksburg for a day of fun! I had never visited before but have only heard great things about the town and I couldn’t wait to explore. I was greeted by massive, historic, southern homes that truly took my breath away. The further we drove into town, an abundance of shops, boutiques and restaurants popped up. I couldn’t wait to stop into as many as possible! With that mentality in mind, I knew my roommate and I had a long day of shopping ahead of us.

We decided to start our day by fueling up at Mercantile. I cannot recommend this place enough. The atmosphere is warm and cozy, with distressed exposed brick, crystal chandelier lighting, and colorful chairs. It is sophisticated, yet playful and is most certainly inviting. Mercantile has lots of vegan options which made me one happy gal, but also had many normal options if you prefer. I got an awesome tofu scramble with vegetables and a potato hash, and my roommate got breakfast tacos which consisted of steak, eggs, cheese and vegetables topped with a potato string garnish. It was delicious, and as we walked out of the restaurant door, we both looked at each other and said that we need to go back asap!

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After fueling up, we set our sights on the shops. I walked into boutique after boutique wishing I could take one of everything back with me to college! I had so much fun looking around, thinking about all the outfits I could create, but my favorite part of shopping were the incredibly nice boutique employees that had the sweetest southern charm! After getting my shopping fix, we stopped into an old bookstore called Riverby Books that was magical and historical. Old books dating back to the 1800’s were mixed with current literature, appealing to every booklovers taste. I was in heaven, snapping away and dreaming about the hours I could spend here with a coffee and a great read.

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I can’t wait to plan my next trip back to Fredericksburg! Have you ever been? If so comment your favorite restaurants and shops below! I would love to check them out!

xo, lexie

Crisp Autumn Air // Exploring Virginia

As cliche as it sounds, fall is truly my favorite season. To me, nothing beats waking up to cool, crisp air, watching the leaves fall, and having a warm drink in hand…it’s oh so cozy and I love every minute of it! Recently I moved down to Virginia for college and I’ve been having a thrill exploring a totally new place. Currently, I’m on fall break and what better time to explore the state than with some time to kill!? My roommate, her family, and I rose to the occasion and planned a fun, fall filled couple of days.

We started our autumnal adventure by taking a trip up to the mountains for an apple harvest festival! The drive there was absolutely breathtaking. My eyes were glued to the window of the car, staring in awe when I spotted the mountain ranges in the distance and peeped the leaves slowly starting to turn. Upon arriving to the festival, I was greeted by cool air, the smell of apple cider and cinnamon, and the sound of crunchy leaves beneath my feet…as you could imagine, I was in my glory. We started our day by taking a hayride around the apple orchard where I was welcomed by an explosion of fall colors; gold, red, orange, and green foliage covered the ground like a blanket. The longer we were on the hayride, the more visible the mountains became. Living in New Jersey, I don’t see mountains very often, so this was certainly a treat. After our hayride concluded, we snapped a bunch of photos with our apples and made sure to grab their famous kettle corn before we headed out. I dressed for the day by throwing on one of my favorite, cozy, blue and green plaid button downs, a dark wash denim skirt (fall staple in my wardrobe) and my trusty chestnut Tommy Hilfiger riding boots!

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It wouldn’t be fall without going to the pumpkin patch, so the next day we headed to Snead’s Farm for the ultimate fall experience. It was nothing short of magical! The property was stunning; fields of bountiful flowers and plants were ready to harvest, a quaint historic farmhouse sat in the middle of the grounds, lush pumpkin patches were in the distance, and the smell of cinnamon lingered in the air. I had a blast exploring the place, snapping everything in sight. I was shocked to see how huge of some the pumpkins were, going for $40 a piece! Not looking to carry something that large, we stuck to picking out pumpkins that were a bit more modest in size, perfect for painting or carving! Being so far away from home, this trip reminded me of the farm I grew up going to where I would go apple and pumpkin picking. It was surely nice to get a little taste of home for the day! My outfit for the pumpkin patch was a black, lightweight, v-neck long sleeve tee, a pair of dark wash denim, and my beloved gold jack rogers.

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I had an absolute blast this fall break, getting my dose of all things autumn! What is your favorite part about the fall? Comment below!

xo, lexie

Hydrangea Heaven

I’m a total sucker for every and all types of flowers but hydrangeas….they hold a super special place in my heart! I remember falling for this flower the first time I saw them. I was vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard when I noticed that all of the houses were lined with these lush bushes filled with the most gorgeous flowers I have ever seen. I immediately asked my mom what they were called and when she told me, that very moment, hydrangeas became my all time favorite flower! When my parents broke the news that we were going to be vacationing in Long Beach Island I got insanely excited. Hydrangeas grow best in sandy soil and what better place to find sandy soil than the beach!? I knew that I was going to see loads of gorgeous hydrangeas and boy was I right! Bold blues, hot pinks, bright whites, soft blushes and light purple petals were scattered everywhere adding a bright pop of color against the dark green leaves. I was in heaven snapping away, trying to capture all of the beauty! I mean just look at them!

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One day I hope to line my future house with hydrangea bushes! What is your favorite flower? Let me know in the comments below!

xo, lexie

Best of 2016

Can you believe that 2017 is just a few days away!? As I’m writing this post I can’t help but reminisce about all of the amazing experiences I have had throughout this past year. I was so fortunate to be able to create amazing memories that will last a lifetime. For me, 2016 was an incredible year of growth and self discovery. I hope you enjoy this roundup of all of my favorite moments from 2016!

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Thank you all for following along this past year! I am so excited for 2017 and everything that the new year will bring. Wishing all of you health, happiness, and joy always!

xo, Lexie

 

 

 

 

A Day in Marseille / Visiting Notre Dame de la Garde

One of my favorite parts about exploring France was getting to visit their churches. The gorgeous architecture and immaculate details never seized to blow my mind. Out of all of the churches that I’ve had the opportunity to tour, Notre Dame de la Garde stood out the most. Located at the highest natural elevation point in Marseille, this church offers a 360 degree view of the entire city and the Mediterranean Sea…truly a sight to see. Called la bonne mère (the good mother), this church is said to guard and protect the people according to the Marseille locals.

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The vibrant colors and gorgeous paintings took my breath away. From the perfectly sculpted exterior, to the unique and colorful tile floors, to the paintings and gold detailing, this church was nothing short of stunning. Write to you soon!

xo, Lexie

 

Golden Hour Under The Eiffel Tower

Seeing the Eiffel Tower has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I imagined for years how magical the moment would be when I saw it for the first time. I had high expectations nontheless for what this experience would be like, and when I started walking towards the Parc du Champs de Mars I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

The soft afternoon light caressed itself around the Tower…one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. Standing there in all of Her glory, the Lady of France is even more magnificent in person. Chills ran through my body and happiness surged. This moment was more amazing than I could’ve ever dreamed of. My beautiful friend Justine, who’s an incredible photographer couldn’t resist pulling out her camera to snap a few pictures. Standing under the Eiffel Tower I danced and posed in the golden light. This was one of the happiest moments of my life.

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Make sure to check out more of Justine’s amazing work on her website http://www.justinemaggiolino.com! Have an amazing day…write to you next week!

xo, Lexie

Sunrise in St. Tropez

St. Tropez, one of the most exclusive, glamorous, and most beautiful towns in the French Riviera. This place has been on my travel wish list for ages and I couldn’t believe that we were actually going to be visiting. Piling into the car before dawn, we maneuvered the windy roads through the mountains from Toulon and arrived in St. Tropez in a little over an hour…just in time to watch the sunrise over the mediterranean.

We parked the car on one of the many colorful streets and started to walk through town toward the port. Vacationers sat outside in wicker chairs at local cafe’s sipping their morning espresso and munching on all of the delicious french patisserie.

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Sweet little streets with colors that are sure to brighten any day are a defining feature of this glamorous beach town.

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High end stores and fancy little shops are scattered all over with the prettiest of window displays, catering to the classy clientele.

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Nearing the port I was allured by the crystal clear blue waters of the med…the morning light glistened on the crashing waves, truly a sight to see.

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Super yachts filled the port, some even bigger than the houses back at home. I was dazzled by how extravagant and massive they were; multiple party decks, perfectly polished silver detailing, and butlers bringing guests their morning feasts seemed too perfect to be true.

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I advanced toward the rocky coast, watching the birds soar through the pink and blue sunrise.

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The sun was slowly creeping higher and higher into the sky, projecting the most gorgeous golden light over the mountains in the distance.

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I could have stayed there forever, admiring the peaceful sea and insane views.

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One of St. Tropez’s specialties is their famous pastry called the Tarte Tropezienne. It is essential to try this dessert when visiting here! Buttery Brioche filled with rich vanilla pastry cream topped with sugar crystals is sure to be the dessert of your dreams. I still cannot stop thinking about it! I wish I could have snapped a pic but as soon as the pastry was in my hand it looked to good to not start chowing down right away…I guess you’ll just have to visit yourself to see and taste this delicious specialty!

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I certainly wouldn’t mind watching the sunrise everyday in St. Tropez!

xo, Lexie

 

 

Royalty for a Day // Exploring the Chateau and Gardens of Versailles

Usually waking up to the sound of my alarm clock blaring has me scrambling to hit the snooze button, but this particular morning I couldn’t wait to hear that annoying buzzer! I sprung out of bed, pulled myself together, and was ready for a royal and regal day. Before leaving the apartment, I ran into the kitchen and downed my morning shot of espresso…nothing like a java jolt to get the blood flowing! We had an exciting day ahead of us, spending the day exploring the Chateau and Gardens of Versailles. With no time to waste, we jumped into the car, plugged Versailles into the GPS and were on our way! But first we had to make a pit stop for croissants and pan de chocolat…breakfast of champions!?

After about a 40 minute car ride we arrived at our destination. Pulling into the parking lot and looking up at the Chateau my eyes instantaneously were drawn in by the gold…golden gates, balconies, windows, detailing and more.

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Versailles was crawling with tourists which was to be expected. Even upon early arrival we had to wait for hours in line to tour the Chateau. Thankfully with some snacks and good company, the time flew by. Before we knew it, we were stepping into the main entrance. After going through security, the entire Palace was open for us to explore. I was giddy with excitement.

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Walking into the first room, my eyes darted in every which way trying to soak up the grand beauty…the walls were showered in gold, magnificent murals, marble, and velvet; it was just the right amount of overwhelming.

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The massive windows lining the walls of the Chateau offered an incredible view of the perfectly manicured gardens…so dreamy!

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After roaming around for some time, we finally reached the famous Hall of Mirrors, the Palace’s most remarkable and recognized gallery. It was over the top beautiful just as King Louis XIV intended it to be…my eyes were nearly blinded by all of the gold and crystals. The paintings on the ceiling were absolutely stunning and so culturally rich. This was by far the most beautiful art I have ever seen.

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I could have spent hours in one room alone, just admiring the extravagant details.

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Soon we made our way out of the Palace and it was time to see the Gardens! Perfectly trimmed greenery dotted with the most lush and vibrant flowers I’ve ever seen…it felt like I was in heaven.

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Strolling further and further through the Gardens we saw a new perspective of the Chateau…a truly remarkable sight.

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Spotting some stairs near one of the Garden’s fountains, we took a seat and enjoyed a traditional Parisian sandwich for lunch…ham and gruyère on a french baguette…delicious! We finished off the meal with some sparkling Perrier and apricots (they’re the best ever in France trust me!).

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After lunch we continued our stroll through the Gardens that seemed to be never-ending. We eventually ran into Le Petit Trianon (Marie Antoinette’s Chateau) and couldn’t wait to check it out!

The lovely symmetric Gardens leading up to her home took my breath away…I certainly wouldn’t mind living there!

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Wandering into Antoinette’s Chateau I eventually came across her famous bedroom! Red and gold details…a simply elegant and regal combination.

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Next we went to Le Grand Trianon…my favorite Chateau in all of Versailles! The light pink colored marble and gold detailing instantaneously won my heart; and don’t even get my started on the black and white checkered marble floor…need this in my future house for sure!

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The darling yellow and purple flower color combinations were my favorite! How incredible would a wedding be here ahhh!

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After a long day of adventuring we took a quick detour into the town of Versailles to grab some dinner and drinks! I had the best crepes in the world; one savory and one sweet. The sweet crepe was my favorite; salted caramel sauce, nutella, and french vanilla ice cream! Too good to be true!

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After a meal of a lifetime we went back into the Gardens for golden hour and planned to stay until nighttime for the Palace’s firework show!

The sunset was a firey orange, casting light on the Palace and creating a beautiful picture in the sky.

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Royal music played as we walked through the Gardens…it was surely fun to feel like a Queen for a day!

As the sky started to darken we took our places on the stairs and got ready for the fireworks. Crowds of people made their way to come sit down taking up every seat available. We were all anxiously waiting for them to start.

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The royal music gradually grew louder and louder indicating that the show was about to begin. I quickly took out my camera and put it straight into video mode!

These were by far the most amazing and striking fireworks I have ever seen. Bright hues of purple, soft pinks, rich reds, and crystally whites showered the sky. The colors continually exploded into the pitch black sky presenting themselves in every shape and style. Seeing these fireworks in person is something I believe everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. I will remember this show forever.

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After the finale we rushed back to the car, beating the crowd and drove back to our apartment in Paris! Truly a day fit for royalty!

xo, Lexie

Sweet Treat on the Seine // Paris’ World Famous Ice Cream Shop

I’ve had my fair share of amazing ice cream, so when I heard about Berthillon having quite possibly the best in the world, I had to go and see what all of the hype was about. Walking along the Ile Saint-Louis we spotted the famous shop. I knew immediately this place was going to be incredible…the line stretched all the way to the other side of the street, with people tagging on nearly every second. We hopped on the end, waiting anxiously with very high expectations.

The scenic views of the Seine made for a quite enjoyable wait in line. The serene and still vibrant green water glistened as the sun danced across it. The warm temperatures and sunny skies made it the perfect day to stop for a sweet afternoon treat!

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The line moved quickly and before I knew it, it was our turn to order. I took a look at the flavor board and knew it was going to be tough to pick…everything sounded so delicious! Flavors ranged from vanilla, to pistachio, to goji berry, sure to satisfy every type of sweet tooth. I ended up choosing one scoop of mango and one scoop of melon in a waffle cone!

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I couldn’t have been more happy with the flavors I chose! So bright, light, and refreshing to help cool things down on this warm day in the city. The ice cream was easily the most rich and velvety I have ever had. Savoring every bite, I wished it was never-ending. Although a bit pricy, you are surely paying for luxurious and sophisticated ice cream…so worth the price and wait in line! Berthillon certainly makes some of the best in the world…10/10 would definitely recommend!

Stopping here is a must when in Paris! Have you ever been? What’s your favorite flavor?

xo, Lexie

 

 

Montmartre and Moulin Rouge

Montmartre, home of French artists and some of the best views of Paris. Cobblestone streets are lined with painters, portrait artists, cafe’s, and be warned…lots of tourists! I could have spent hours watching the artists bring the pieces of canvas to life. The creative energy in Montmartre is like nothing I have ever experienced before. I left feeling completely inspired.

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This painter stuck out to me the most. His concentration, and gentle strokes of the brush created some of the most beautiful paintings of the Eiffel Tower I have ever seen.

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Bustling with people, Montmartre is one of the best spots in Paris to people watch.

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Grab an espresso at a cafe, sit outside, and you will be exposed to different people and cultures from all around the globe.

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Visiting the Sacre-Coeur is a must when at Montmartre. This is one of the most beautiful and intricately designed churches I have ever seen. Filled with unbelievably gorgeous stained glass and a ceiling painting that will blow your mind, you will not be able to put your camera down! After touring the church, head toward the balcony to see the amazing views of Paris or pack a picnic lunch and relax on the hill taking in the incredible views.

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I couldn’t stop staring into the distance…Paris is absolutely stunning. The architecture, the colors of the buildings…this view had me swooning!

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Not too far away from Montmartre (actually a walk right down the hill) is Moulin Rouge, the famous French Cabaret. Home of the first French CanCan Dancers, this was a hub for the fashionable and for the people who loved a good party! This nightclub and entertainment venue is still highly functioning and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists a year. I loved seeing how this one building added so much color to the street and it’s even more beautiful at night…the entire building lights up!

Have you ever been to Montmartre or a show at Moulin Rouge? What’s your favorite part about the area?

xo, Lexie