COLLECTOR of STRIPES // a lifestyle blog // Boston


Travel Files: Paris

    Il n'est pas nécessaire d'être français pour être Parisienne.
    (You don't have to be French to be Parisian.)
    - Karl Lagerfeld

I spend most of my time trying to figure out a way to move to Paris. There's just something about the city that makes me miss it all of the time. I've been thinking about Paris a lot more recently so I thought I would finally post about my February trip. Here are a few of my favorite pictures. I'm working on a post with all of my favorite Parisian things so stay tuned!

Until then, bisous.

La Louvre


A cafe between the 5e and 6e

Jardin des Tuileries

Le Consulat in Monmartre

Le Marais

The view from the top of la tour Eiffel

The view from our flat in Monmartre

La tour Eiffel


Travel Files: San Francisco

AHHH it's finally here! I'm actually posting about my trip to San Francisco over Thanksgiving. (Yep, I've been sitting on this since November.) This post has been a while in the making (clearly) but work and life get in the way sometimes all of the time. Anyway, I'm really excited to share my trip with you. Fair warning, this post is pretty lengthy but I didn't want to skip anything.


My sister and I went to San Francisco over Thanksgiving week. I had briefly visited SF once before, but I wouldn't even really count that trip since most of it was spent in Palo Alto. Since I didn't really have a chance to explore the city during my last visit, I knew I wanted to see everything this time.

Linds and I arrived on Monday afternoon and hopped in a van at SFO (the best and cheapest way to commute to and from the airport into the city, imho) to our hotel, the Sir Francis Drake. The Drake is in the perfect location right in Union Square. It's so close to shopping, restaurants and shopping!

We spent our first day poking around Union Square, and partaking in the free daily wine tasting at our hotel. After getting sufficiently buzzed, we headed around the corner to Cafe de la Presse for dinner. We had a late lunch in the hotel's restaurant so we weren't starving... which means more booze! I think our main goal was to not fall asleep too early but I'll admit it wasn't a late night. (FTR, we went back to Cafe de la Presse before we left and I highly recommend it. Great little French bistro.)

On Tuesday, our first stop was The Painted Ladies, aka the Fullhouse house. I watched the show religiously growing up so I was pretty excited to see it in person. The park across the street from The Painted Ladies is great and if I lived in the city I would probably walk Charlie there or maybe have a picnic or two. After the PL, we made our way to Lombard Street (GORGE!), Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman's Wharf. Ghirardelli Square is home to the Ghirardelli factory (chocolate!), lots of cute shops and restaurants. Next, we headed to Fisherman's Wharf. It's fairly touristy but totally worth checking out. If you want to rent bikes or visit Alcatraz, you can do it here. (Since it was a holiday, we couldn't get tickets to Alcatraz but it's on my list for next time.)

What I was most looking forward to was the Ferry Building. The Ferry Building is what Faneuil Hall should be. (Yeah, I just went there.) It's home to the best coffee, best cheese, best bread, best wine and the BEST clam chowder I have ever had. (Yeah, I went there again.) Hog Island Oyster Company is hands down one of my most favorite eating experiences ever. The food is so fresh... and a low key oyster bar is idea of heaven. Some of my other faves in the Ferry Building: Blue Bottle Coffee, Cowgirl Creamery, Acme Bread Company, Boccalone and the Wine Merchant.

Wednesday morning, we rented bikes in Union Square and biked over the Golden Gate to Sausalito. DO THIS. It's an amazing way to see the city. We did a self-guided ride. We tried our best to follow the map and avoid any major hills, and we were somewhat successful, but hey, you're just earning your wine, right? The ride ends in Sausalito, an adorable coastal town. Linds and I were starving after our ride so we treated ourselves to ceviche and margaritas at Copita. Really good food, excellent tequila.

We took the boat back to the Ferry Building where we picked up a few snacks for Napa (see "the ultimate snack" below), and headed back to the hotel. After relaxing for a bit, we made our way to dinner at Perbacco. Yeah, this place is good. If you are visiting SF, I highly recommend making a resie. Everything is incredible. P.S. get the burrata. P.P.S always get the burrata.

Thursday, Thanksgiving morning, we picked up our Hertz 24/7 car and headed to Napa. I didn't realize how close wine country is to the city. It's a gorgeous drive with endless farms and vineyards. We attempted to visit the Muir Woods on our way out of town but I'm pretty sure every family in California had the same idea and we couldn't find parking. So instead, we headed straight to our hotel, La Residence, in Napa and had a little snack before dinner. (It sounds like all we did was eat in SF. I'm ok with that because #yolo.)

For Thanksgiving dinner, we were headed to FARM at The Carneros Inn. I had read about The Carneros Inn way before planning our trip and I was dying to stay there but it was WAY outside of our budget. The next best thing was dinner at their restaurant, FARM. And it didn't disappoint. The dinner was a traditional Thanksgiving dinner served family style. It was incredible which wasn't surprising. (We even tried to recreate the meal for Christmas dinner. I give us an A for effort.) Honestly though, I think my favorite part of my FARM experience was the design of the restaurant itself. First of all, they have outdoor seating and firepits. Second, the outdoor seating was covered in black and white striped fabric. And third, they hung lucite lamps as chandeliers over the bar. SO GOOD. (I have really dark, blurry pictures that I have deemed not blog worthy. And I couldn't find a pic from their website.)

The next morning we were on a mission... WINE! It was a little too early to drink...legally. Luckily the Napa Outlets kept us company. (Thanks Barney's!) After the outlets, we stopped in downtown Napa's Oxbow Public Market. It's a great public market with too many delicious things to list. Actually, there is one noteworthy place: Model Bakery. Go here. My go-to at any bakery is a scone and a cappuccino... and letmetellyou Model didn't disappoint. Probably the best scone I've had. Next stop was FINALLY Domaine Carneros. Linds and I both had the sparkling wine and pinot noir tasting flight. Their wine is always tasty but I have my favorites: the brut rose and the avant-garde pinot noir. If you're ever in Napa, make sure you visit Domaine Carneros. The grounds are beautiful. Their tasting "house" is a French chateau. So there's that.

After Domaine Carneros, we made our way back to the city. We had dinner reservations at Tyler Florence's Wayfare Tavern later that night so we relaxed in our hotel and unpacked/packed. If you go to Wayfare Tavern, get the burger and a beer. I wouldn't steer you wrong. But again, my favorite part of Wayfare Tavern was the interiors. It was 80% Ralph Lauren, 10% French bistro, 10% pub. It's spectacular in there. (Again, I have some super blurry pictures that are not blog worthy.)

On Saturday, our last day in the city, we stayed local and did some shopping in Union Square. We ended up stopping for one last glass of wine at Press Club. It's a great bar with an even better wine list. I can see it being a scene later at night but during the day it's a great place to grab apps and a glass bottle of wine.

After the Press Club, we headed to SFO to catch our red eye back to Boston. I'm not really sure how to sum up this trip. We ate a lot, we explored a lot and I enjoyed every minute it. To be honest, if I did the exact same things on my next trip to San Fran, I would be ok with it.

If you made it through this whole post, well done and thanks! I'm happy to share more details - or wine recs - so just leave a question in the comments.


SJP answers 73 questions

Vogue recently visited Sarah Jessica Parker at home in New York for their latest installment of Vogue Diaries. I'm just hearing about this web series but I'm hooked. SJP's interview in particular is one of the cutest, most original interviews I have ever seen. I.can't.stop.watching. Vogue has a few other episodes with Gwyneth Paltrow and Tina Fey... so I'll probably stalk those eps as well.


I can't lie though... My favorite part of this video is getting a small glimpse into SJP's home.

Love it!
Books, more books and baseballs.
Ugh, I love her.

Isn't it all so good?
images via here and here


Jenna's life rules

One of my favorite people is Jenna Lyons. Not only is she super chic, but she's also a great business woman and role model. Her J.Crew story is inspiring and I only hope to be as innovative as she is one day. She was recently features in Net-A-Porter's new Porter magazine and her advice is something I will carry with me always.
  1. I work on my instincts. At the end of the day, it's all you have. If you don't trust yourself, no one else is going to either.
  2. You can't fix yesterday. And don't beat yourself up over it – the only reason to beat yourself up is if you don't learn from it.
  3. Respect honesty and transparency. There is no room for people who can’t give a clear and honest opinion.
  4. I feel like I’m learning – and making mistakes – all the time! But if I wasn't and suddenly felt stagnant, that would be the thing that would make me not want to work.
  5. When I was younger, I always wanted things to be easier – but I learned that there are always some things in flux and always changing. Then I realized that makes things far more interesting.
  6. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. There is no question. It's a cliché, but it's true.
  7. Never assume that just because we did it one way means that we can do it again the same next time.
  8. I realized early on that no matter what I am feeling and no matter what is happening to me, either personally or professionally, there is no place for that [in the workplace]. I am really good at compartmentalizing, probably to a fault! When you force yourself to do it, you realize that it’s not as hard as you think.
  9. I don't want to stay looking the same. Someone once said that they didn't recognize me because I wasn't wearing a red lip, so I thought, "Oh, I won't wear a red lip for a while."
  10. Giving feedback in the creative world is so delicate. I spend a lot of time picking my words carefully.
So good, right?
image via here and here.


The big house of chic

The ever lovely Bailey over at Peppermint Bliss just redesigned this home after a total gut reno... and homegirl nailed it. Bailey has the most original eye for design, color and style. It reminds me of spring (just what I need right about now).

That wallpaper!


Of course you put a cheetah carpet in the kitchen! Amazing!

No words. Carry on.

Nope, not afraid of color.

I want to lay there right now.

STRIPES. Killin it.

The most fun and adult kids room ... ever.

So many things. So chic.

Those are some good looking bookshelves!

One of the best things I have ever seen.

Really digging the coral red.

Such a well styled coffee table. I would kill for these books btw.

In the words of Matthew McConaughey, "Alright, alright, alright, alright".

all images via style me pretty: living
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