Mar 302015

Sale PSA: Lots of goodies from around the web. First up are both flat Jack Rogers sandals in cork, and wedge heeled Jack Roger sandals in black and a soft silver – both 25% off, a super easy to wear LNA black maxi dress made out of stretch modal, now under $70,  and the beautiful lilac version of the Free People maxi I reviewed here, now available for under $100 with code “FRIENDS”, ending today. 

Even though we loved all of our accommodations in Kyoto and could have stayed in the entire time, of course we didn’t. Kyoto is such a gorgeous city, with so many things to do, that it would have been a shame. Today, I’d like to share some of our favorite sights and eats from around the city.

Each morning, we’d start with a walk along the riverbanks (this is also where we’d end our day). Not only was the scenery beautiful, but it also allowed us to traverse the city to wherever we wanted to go.

Kyoto River Banks

From the riverbanks we could easily go to explore wherever we wanted. One of my favorite activities was just to pick an alleyway and walk down it and discover all the little shops and restaurants.

Kyoto Passageways

The photos above and below were from the Gion District (where I was obsessed with one local cracker shop I found, below.

Ginza Crackers

There are temples everywhere in Kyoto, and everyday we tried to explore a new one. On our first day, we went to Kennin-ji, a Zen temple that had a beautiful painting done in India ink on the ceiling. Beautiful (and reminded me a bit of Dragonball Z, ha!)

Kennin Ji Temple

On another day, we went to visit the very famous Kinkakuji – the Golden Temple. Unfortunately it was raining that day, so we didn’t get the super picturesque view of the temple shimmering like a mirror image in the water. It was still beautiful though. It’s also worth noting that this was by far the most crowded site we went to in Kyoto. I was surprised as it was February, but it was probably due to the Chinese New Year holiday. Continue reading »

Mar 262015

Sale PSA: Some great finds at Nordstrom! My Free People gauzy maxi that I reviewed just earlier this week here, is now under $100 (I love this dress!), classic Prada cat eye sunglasses which I’ve owned for years, now under $200, and for those who’ve been waiting for a deal on the classic DVF Zarita dress, here it is in all the classic colors, now 25% off. 

We started our stay in Kyoto at the newly built (opened in 2014!) Ritz Carlton Kyoto. I was very interested to try out this hotel because it was, and still is, the only “Western” style luxury hotel in Kyoto (ryokans of course are another matter). I have to admit that I haven’t had the best experience with Ritz Carltons in the past few years, and will almost always choose a Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental if I have the choice in any given location.

I am happy to report however, that the Ritz Carlton Kyoto ended up being one of my favorite city hotel stays, ever. It is such a beautiful property, and you can tell that an incredible amount of thought and attention to detail was put into it. Mr. Feather and I had such a great time here, and loved our stay. A warning – this is a picture heavy post!

When arriving at the hotel, we were immediately taken by how well it translated to its traditional surroundings in Kyoto. No tall modern skyscraper like structures here – very unobtrusive yet still elegant.

Ritz Carlton Kyoto Opening

We were greeted at reception and after a welcome drink, were walked up to our room to do check-in in the room. I loved the details on each of the doors  – there were thoughtful touches like this all over the hotel.

Ritz Carlton Kyoto Hallways

And then, our room. So pretty! And, quite a nice size! The couch was super comfortable to lounge on and the perfect place to perch while the other person hung out on the bed.

Ritz Carlton Kyoto Living Room

My favorite aspect of the room – the view. There was a gorgeous sitting area that looked out onto Kyoto’s Kamo River. Often we’d just sit and have tea and look out over the water and people watch. And then when we walked back to the hotels ourselves, we’d head down the same riverbanks!

I loved that there was an individually selected bonsai tree for each room, and it was switched out each day.

Ritz Carlton Kyoto Bedroom

Little details all throughout the bedroom/living space – individual robes which were hung in the closet, and Tivoli alarm clocks. I don’t know how many times I’ve entered beautiful, super expensive hotel rooms only to encounter cheapie and very old alarm clocks. No stone left unturned!

Ritz Carlton Kyoto Bedroom Details

There was also a lovely minibar area that not only had the ubiquitous Nespresso machine, but also a contraption for making the perfect tea via pod capsule. I had never seen this before, am I just behind on the times? Continue reading »

Mar 232015

Sale PSA: Bloomingdales’ Friends and Family sale has begun, for 25% off lots of items with code FRIEND! I still need to peruse the site for more items, but what caught my eye immediately was despite the long list of designer exclusions, it looks like all sunglasses are included. That means you can pick up items like the Dior “So Real” sunglasses, Prada’s always classic Round Baroques in black and tortoise, and Ray-Ban Mirrored Aviators, all for 25% off. I’ll add more deals throughout the week. Enjoy! 

I’m more than halfway through my pregnancy now,  and I feel like my stomach has become exponentially bigger in the past month. I keep getting stuck between chairs and other furniture. While getting ready for work a few weeks ago, I realized that all my “big” dresses that I’d been saving to wear were now gaping at the buttons. While this was depressing news, I decided for my sanity and comfort that I would give myself an extra metal pregnancy allowance for my 25 item wardrobe challenge. It allowed me to quickly stock up on some new comfortable pieces.

I’ve found that I personally like looser versus tighter items for “maternity” wear, and found some great dresses that I think I’ll be using even after this period. I don’t think there’s anything that beats the right dress for comfort out there. And, just as a reference for other preggos looking for clothes, I have a 21 week bump in these pictures, and it fits with plenty of room under all of these dresses!

1. First up is this long sleeved Free People dress, which incidentally appears to qualify for Friends and Family at Bloomingdales in three colors – white, black, and fuchsia !

I bought this dress because it looked like a super easy piece that I could continue wearing after pregnancy at the beach, for an evening stroll in the summer, etc. I also loved that it comes in a bunch of great colors (though of course I ended up with black).  As a plus, this dress also comes with a full lining, which I don’t always to be the case with Free People (see my other review below).

Also, I’ll note that I could have easily taken an XS in this dress, but ended up with a Small because I wanted the extra length. I believe that this style runs very short…and maybe my bump took away some material, too!

2. Next up is Anthropologie’s Paned Cocoon Dress. This dress is uber comfortable, and fully lined as well. It’s actually quite warm, so I wear it on days where the weather is closer to 70 degrees versus higher. Continue reading »

Mar 202015

Sale PSA: Brandy woven leather AGL flats which are perfect for summer (these remain my favorite comfortable ballet flats and I always keep an eye out for sale), now 30% off, The Free People lace trip slip dress that I mentioned loving last week is now $70 for a limited time, a chic calf hair leopard print shoulder bag from Valentino, now under $1400, and a pretty silk mini dress from Issa, now under $230. 

For those looking for an easy bag for spring, I also love and am strongly considering this raffia backpack from Bop Basics, for under $85 – very chic and current!  

1. Every season I end up buying a few pairs of flat/low heeled sandals – one cheaper that I know I can thrash around and wear without fear, and another a little more dressy, a little more expensive.

The past few years I’ve found my “nicer” option from Stuart Weitzman, and this year is no exception. I think this is my favorite sandal design I’ve seen from Weitzman for awhile!

The sandal comes in both cork and a metallic bronze, which you can see above. From past experience, I can share that the cork versions are usually a bit more comfortable…of course, they are cork! But I just love the bronze version of this sandal. Definitely on my summer list.

2. I wrote a few years ago about how I fell in love with an Eileen Fisher skirt, and from that point on I’ve found myself stopping to admire items from the brand and touching the fabric in stores. I haven’t bought anything since, but loved this article from NY Mag about the author’s unabashed love for the brand.  Continue reading »

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