Tag Archives: Ladurée

Summer Weekends

Summer is quickly drawing to an end and seeing kids getting on a school bus while on my way to work reminded me that Fall is almost upon us.  (Yes, I know some bloggers have been avidly posting Fall outfits although it befuddles me since it’s still nice and warm out there!) It’s been a busy Summer and here are some snapshots on what I’ve been up to by far this Summer.

Bridal wedding gown decorWedding decor at a wedding that I attended back in June (what I wore here)

Great Falls Maryland

Great Falls MarylandHiking at Great Falls, Maryland

Potluck picnic Summer

Potluck picnic with friends at Sycamore Island Canoe Club

Rayban wayfarers and H&M straw hat SummerMy Rayban Wayfarers and H&M straw hat (similar), my trusty Summer must-haves

Pretty black eyed SusanPretty Black Eye Susans in the neighborhood

Caesar's Palace Las Vegas hotel38 hours in Las Vegas to see G and we stayed at the Caesar’s Palace Hotel

Laduree macaronsLadurée macarons, a surprise treat from G who brought it with him from London!

Laduree macarons

Of the 18 flavors, my favorites were chocolate and salted caramel but Pierre Herme wins the taste test while Ladurée wins packaging wise!

Ronald Reagan Airport Virginia DC View of the National Airport from the Metro platform

Trapeze DC flying Flying trapeze at Trapeze DC for my bachelorette party! (So.much.fun!)

Tea set for tea ceremony Chinese wedding Tea set for Chinese wedding tea ceremony, a wedding I just attended this past weekend

Pennsylvania Station BaltimoreBaltimore Pennsylvania Station, where I was waiting for the train back to DC after said wedding

2013 is perhaps the year of weddings as I attended two weddings over Summer and I’ll be attending another, the weekend after Labor Day. And then of course, there’s my own wedding. No, I’m still not quite done with wedding planning although most things have been squared away. In any case, with Summer winding down, I’m still hoping to be able to make a trip out to Shenandoah for a final hiking trip for one of these Summer weekends!

How have you been spending your Summer? 🙂

Travel – Birthday Vacation: Exmouth

On my birthday, we spent the morning in London before we took the train to visit G’s relatives in Exmouth for a few days. G spoilt me with some delicious macarons from Pierre Herme and a bracelet from Givenchy. (Thank you, G!) (WARNING: Picture heavy post!)

Birthday presents - Pierre Herme macarons and Givenchy braceletGivenchy Obsedia Triple Wrap Bracelet in RedGivenchy Obsedia Triple Wrap Bracelet

I had been obsessing over the python Givenchy Obsedia bracelet for a long time at Barney’s and it either wasn’t marked down or it did and sold out in no time. I’d always stalk it online, patiently awaiting for it to go on sale but alas, no such luck. I was pleased to finally find one in a color that I liked and G happily bought it for me as a birthday gift in advance! (trust me, I count my blessing every day and am very grateful to have G who spoils me!)

Pierre Herme macarons London landmarksPierre Herme macarons

Pierre Herme macaronsDelicious macarons from Pierre Herme that we bought the day before from Selfridges

For my birthday, my only request was to have some macarons to celebrate since I had received my gift in advance. I had heard a lot about Pierre Herme and from the reviews I read, it is touted to be better than Laduree. I was curious to have some and G allowed me to pick as many as I’d like. Since I liked the London Landmarks box, I got to pick 16 macarons! I had one of each, as there were 13 flavors to choose from and doubled up on the chocolate, Matcha green tea and salted caramel. My favorite flavor was the Matcha green tea. I love that the macarons were not too sweet and it melted in my mouth. I had to pace myself and not eat all 16 of them during our train ride from London to Exmouth. Let’s just say it took me a lot of self-restraint!

Caterpillar birthday cake My caterpillar birthday cake

Caterpillar cake and teaMy slice of birthday cake and some tea after the long train ride

Upon arrival in Exmouth, I was treated to my own caterpillar birthday cake! G had told them in advance that it was my birthday. G’s cousin and his family whom we visited has a household tradition whereby caterpillar cakes are a must for birthdays. I felt very loved! After some cake and tea, we were given a brief walking tour of Exmouth.

Beach Sign

Exmouth Festival 2013Exmouth Festival 2013

It was Exmouth Festival when we visited and we got to listened to a couple of songs by one of the many bands that performed. Sorry, I forgot the name of the band! We then took a stroll along the seafront.

Exmouth, Devon seafront seaside coast

Exmouth Devon England seafront seaside coastBeautiful seafront

seagull England Devon

Exmouth Pavillion

Wishing Well Rotary

Exmouth Lifeguards

Exmouth Fun Park

Exmouth Fun Park Swan Boat Rides

Swan Boats Exmouth Fun Park

Exmouth Children Swing

Carriage Cafe Exmouth

Next we proceeded to walk along the neighborhood near the seafront and look what I found! The White House followed me to England! 😉

The White House in Exmouth Devon EnglandSpot the rainbow Exmouth Devon EnglandSpot the rainbow!

It was a beautiful day on my birthday and after the little tour from G’s cousin, we had a BBQ cookout to end the day. Needless to say, I had a wonderful birthday and am so thankful to G and his relatives for making it a special day!

UPDATE: Here are the other pictures of Exmouth as promised.These were taken on our last day in town as went to check out the Marina.

The Beacon Vaults in Exmouth Devon England

the Beacon Vaults Exmouth Devon England

Fats Exmouth

Exmouth Devon England Marina Exmouth Marina

Exmouth Marina bridge Devon EnglandBridge at the Marina

Boat tour company Exmouth Devon England

House with yellow door Exmouth Devon England

Exmouth War MemorialExmouth War Memorial

For more pictures of Exmouth you can find them here. I also have more snapshots of Topsham and Exeter (that I will blog about in a separate post), which we visited during our short stay in Exmouth. Please stay tuned!

Feature Friday: Uniqlo and Laduree Collaboration

Among one of the things that I didn’t get to do while on vacation in Paris last Fall was going to Laduree to buy some macarons as treats. I tell myself that it’s just another reason to go back for a visit! (hint hint G! ;))

While doing my quick round of news and Twitter feed check this morning, I came across the Uniqlo and Laduree collaboration here. I am surprised to find this unexpected collaboration and wished I found out about it sooner!

There are 19 different tees for children and women that start range from $12.90 to 19.90. A portion of the sales will benefit IVY, a non-profit that helps children affected by the 2011 tsunami/earthquake. My favorite tees from the collection are as below:

Laduree Uniqlo CollaborationUniqlo and Laduree Collaboration Women’s T-shirts

I really wished I had found out about this collaboration sooner because I absolutely love the first shirt on the left. Alas, it’s sold out online and there isn’t a Uniqlo here in DC. 🙁 Well, perhaps I’ll console myself with some macarons this weekend, even if they aren’t from Laduree.

Happy Friday & have a great weekend! 🙂

Travel – Fall Vacation: Paris Part II

On the third day, we started the day with a heavy breakfast and we had planned on taking the Palais Garnier’s (Paris Opera House) guided tour in the morning. Sadly, the tour was already fully booked so we switched our schedule and headed to Musée du Louvre instead (we had planned on visiting after the guided tour). (WARNING: Picture heavy post!)

Palais Garnier Paris Opera House View of the Palais Garnier from the Les Cars Rouges

It was raining when we headed to Musee du Louvre thus all pics were taken indoors, no outdoor pics of the pyramid infrastructure. 🙁 (that just means I’ve to go back!)

Musee du Louvre Paris

Musee du Louvre

Musee du LouvreMusee du Louvre

La Duree in Musee du LouvreLadurée in Musee du Louvre

Ladurée was definitely a place that I wanted to visit and buy macarons from but I didn’t get a chance to do that during this trip. While I did enter the establishment pictured above, we were looking for hot chocolate but didn’t find any so we left. We were also in a bit of a time crunch, having to rush back to the Palais Garnier for our afternoon guided tour.

As mentioned here, the guided tour was covered by our Paris Pass and since I enjoyed the guided tour for the Oslo Operahuset, (as posted here) I figured we should seize the opportunity to do the guided tour of the Palais Garnier, too. The building is a living history monument as described by our guide and I couldn’t agree more. It is rich in history and ornately decorated, a stark contrast from the Oslo Operahuset which emphasized utility and functionality (Scandinavians!). I highly recommend the guided tour as it gives one access to the opera hall and certain areas that are closed off to the public on a self-guided tour.

Platée Paris Palais GarnierCharacters from the Opera Platée (ingenius story!)

Palais GarnierInterior of the Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier ComposersThe hallway with composers near the gift shop

Marc Chagall ceiling painting Palais Garnier featuring composers for OperaMarc Chagall’s painting featuring 14 opera composers

The original ceiling painting inside the OperaModel size of the original ceiling painting

Palais Garnier Paris Opera House interiorOpulent and beautiful ceiling of the Grand Foyer

Opulent and ornate details of the Grand Foyer Palais Garnier Paris Opera HouseHallway of the Grand Foyer

Academie Nationale de MusiqueExterior on one of the wings of the Palais Garnier

By the time we were done with the tour, we were starving so we went to a nearby restaurant, Opéra Mandarin to fill our tummies. Yes, we had Chinese food in Paris. My dad can’t go too long without Chinese food! 😉 (I’m sure G would’ve preferred pizza instead though! And should you be wondering, yes, he came to join us for 2 days in Paris!)

We ordered 6 main course and a two bowls of dumpling soup to share, which we finished. Food was authentic and delicious, although from reviews as I was researching the name of the restaurant to write this post indicates that food was a hit-or-miss. Well, I’m of Chinese ethnicity and I vouch for it!

Late lunch spread at Paris' Opera MandarinOur late lunch spread at Opéra Mandarin

Once we were gastronomically satiated, we hop-on the Les Cars Rouges at the Palais Garnier and headed towards the Eiffel Tower. Here are some shots from the bus ride…

Arc de Triomphe Paris Champs Elysee

Champs Elyssee

Arc de Triomphe Paris

Arc de Triomphe

It was almost dusk when we finally arrived near the Eiffel Tower. My dad and my sis only went up to the first level while my mum, G and I went up to the second level as well.

Eiffel Tower at dusk ParisEiffel Tower at dusk

Gustave Eiffel 1832 - 1923Gustave Eiffel, the architect behind the famous landmark

Eiffel TowerEiffel Tower at night

View from Eiffel Tower

View from Eiffel Tower Paris at nightNight view from Eiffel Tower

Paris Eiffel TowerView of the Eiffel Tower from Bateaux Parisiens

When we were done, we took the Bateaux Parisiens boat cruise which was also included as part of our Paris Pass. It was only a skip away from the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t take much pics aside from the Eiffel Tower as at that point, I was already starting to feel under the weather. 🙁 It was just much colder than I had anticipated! We adjourned home shortly after that, which concluded our third day in Paris.

Stay tuned for one the last part and thank you for reading! 🙂