Author: stephaniespieker

Parisian Eats

Now for the real reason we made the trek to Paris, FOOD! Here are some of our favorite bakeries and restaurants from  our trip…

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This place has been around since the 60’s and only serves one thing, steak frites. They do one thing and they do it well!

Angelina

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We stopped here for breakfast before Le Louvre. The Chocolat Chaud is to die for, I also got the eggs benedict which was delicious.

L’As du Falafel

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Falafel in Le Marais is a MUST! There are a few places to choose from but everyone we talked to said this was top notch. Seriously the best falafel I have ever eaten.

Ober Mamma

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Get the Napoli Badass, you will thank me!

Max Poilâne

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I ate at least one baguette a day on this trip, when in Paris, right? This was by far my favorite, and the apple tarts are perfection.

 

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Paris is Always a Good Idea

After the new year, my heart started yearning to return to Paris. Roger and I had never been together, and both of us had not experienced it as adults (I know, right?) When I get an idea in my head, it is hard to stop me, so I started researching multiple country trips in Europe to get the most bang for our buck. The problem with that was the multiple travel days that would be wasted getting from country to country. I thought to myself, why not just rent a little apartment in Paris and do some sightseeing, but most importantly feel what it is like to live as Parisians do.

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We bought our tickets, and my god-sister who had just been recommended that we use A la Carte Paris as an apartment rental instead of Airbnb. This site offers only 50 centrally located apartments in Paris with all of the amenities. The apartments are only rented to travelers, so you do not have to stay in an apartment with someone else’s stuff. Our apartment was stylish, clean and fully stocked. We opened the door to a bottle of wine, chocolates, and a binder to tell us everything we needed to know about the area, and how to work everything in the apartment-they even had Sonos speakers. We will only be using them when we visit Paris, nuff said.

We both had not been since we were teenagers, so we did one touristy thing every other day. Here are some tourist hacks that help skip the lines, and throngs of people, as well as our favorite details about all of these places.

Versailles

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Make sure you buy skip the line tickets in advance, and arrive before 9am to get in line. My god-sister also told us to Uber there, and it was so quick and easy. We ended up using Uber throughout our trip to get to dinners when I was wearing heels, and places too far to walk.

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The palace is as breathtaking as it had been when I visited as a teen, definitely walk through and see the Hall of Mirrors. My bucket list item on this day was the “Hameau de la Reine” a country hamlet that Marie Antoinette had built behind her palace, that I saw depicted in Sofia Coppola’s version “Marie Antoinette”. It is one of the farthest destinations on the grounds, so if you walk there, you get to take everything in on foot, and discover secret walkways and gardens you would not see on a trolley or golf cart.

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Le Louvre

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The weather is so unpredictable in Paris, who doesn’t love Paris in the rain though? One rainy morning we stopped by Angelina for chocolat chaud, and headed of to Le Louvre for some culture. Get skip the line tickets, and arrive early to miss some of the crowds. Make sure to find Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa” and go say what’s up to Mona Lisa.

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Le Tour Eiffel

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We were hesitant to go up on the Eiffel tower because of the crowds. Then I looked back on my trip as a teenager, and remembered that I stayed on the second level with my best friend who is afraid of heights, instead of going to the top. No question that I had to get up there on this trip. You can also purchase skip the line tickets, and at the cafe on the 2nd level, get a glass of wine or champs to sip on while waiting for the lift to the top.

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Montmartre

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Home to one of my favorite time periods in Paris, this is where writers like Ernest Hemingway, and artists like Picasso lived in a time of creativity in decadence. We walked all the way to the top from our apartment which was a perfect way to burn of the french food and wine, and allowed us to see every little detail about this city. Place Des Abbesses is a great place to stop for an espresso, and people watch. Sacre Coeur is a tourist attraction, but nonetheless a breathtaking place fraught with history, and you will not get a better view of the city unless you are at the top of Le Tour Eiffel. To finish off our day in Montmartre, we headed to Hotel Terrass to watch the sunset with panoramic views of the city, and have a cocktail before diner in the 4th arrondissement.

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George Brassens Book Market

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This is the least touristy of our adventures in Paris, and a nice relaxing Sunday activity. Roger is a huge literature nut, so we headed over here on a Sunday afternoon to peruse through the treasures in this open air book market. It is open Saturday and Sunday from 9-6 without exception. Be sure to stop across the street at Max Poilâne for fresh bread and pastries. We devoured a whole baguette while walking around the market.

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On a final note, walk anywhere that is less than a 30 minute walk away, unless you are wearing heels. There is no better way to experience this magical city.

Stay tuned next week for the real reason we took this trip, food and tax free shopping 🙂

XO,

Steph

 

Between Summer and Fall

The transition between summer and fall is my favorite time of year. The chill in the air, kids going back to school, the crickets at dusk, and especially the sunsets. We are so lucky to live up in the Oakland hills with a view of the whole Bay Area, so Roger and I like to sit on our deck with a glass of wine, and take it all in. I also love this time of year because I am part of an Urban Inc. family, so I get to use my discount on sale pieces from Urban, Anthro and Free People, and get some amazing deals. This dress is on sale at Free People, and I wore it out on a movie date with Roger on Sunday, with my Schott moto jacket, and the Dolce Vita sandal I have been living in all summer. We are less than 2 weeks from our Paris trip, time to start planning outfits!

Thanks for stopping by!

XO,

Stephanie

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Outfit Details ::

Dress :: Free People

Jacket :: Schott

Sandals :: Dolce Vita

Bag :: Chanel

Kimono Lovin

Kimonos are not just for lounging around the house, or by the pool. On my birthday, I received a beautiful floral tasseled kimono from Urban Outfitters, and decided to wear it right out of the box. It was breezy and stylish for dinner out at Pizzaiolo in Oakland with Roger. I paired it with this LBD from Vici Collection, my fabulous Vince Camuto over the knee boots , and a velvet choker from Anarchy street. I am getting so excited for our trip to Paris is September, and sharing outfits and adventures with you!

XO,

Stephanie

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Kimono :: sold out (similar)

Dress :: Vici Collection

Boots :: Vince Camuto

Choker :: Anarchy Street

Bag :: Chanel

Blush and Black

I have a new obsession with the color blush for summer, and going into fall. I am not a huge fan of pink unless its a bright pink lip with a neutral outfit, but blush is going to be one of my go-to colors for fall. This silk button down skirt  (on sale!) from Madewell is perfect for the heat wave we are going through right now, and will transition to fall outfits with a sweater or leather jacket, and booties. For date night this weekend, I paired it with a striped tank (on sale too!) also from Madewell, this awesome choker from Anarchy Street, and my fave Rag and Bone Harrow booties. Anarchy Street has really awesome and cheap fashion accessories, and the selling point for me was that they donate a meal to the homeless of Skid Row in LA with every order!  I hope you all are having a lovely start of August, fall will be here before we know it, and we are headed to Paris in September, so excited!

Thanks for stopping by!

XO,

Stephanie

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Tank :: Madewell

Skirt :: Madewell

Choker :: Anarchy Street 

Booties :: Rag and Bone

Bag :: Chanel

 

Leo’s Oyster Bar/ 3rd Anniversary

Today I’m blogging from my sister and her husband’s home in the cutest little beach town, Sea Cliff, NY. I watched my nephew all morning while my sis went to an appointment in the city, and now everyone is napping, so I have a chance to blog about our anniversary dinner the night before I headed out here!

Roger and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary on Wednesday, and we had been hearing rave reviews about Leo’s Oyster Bar in the financial district of SF, so it was the perfect occasion to have a date night there. We did have a little bit of a wait upon arrival even though we had a reservation, but they seated us with sparkling rosé, and wished us a happy anniversary. We always do it big on our anniversary, so we had the oyster expert choose a platter of oysters for us, and that is definitely the way to go. The oysters were followed with a phenomenal lobster bisque. For our mains, I chose the lobster roll, and Roger had the braised short rib. The lobster roll was stuffed with succulent lobster on a soft roll, paired with seasoned fries. Roger’s short rib was slow cooked to perfection, and fell off the bone. Instead of dessert, we had one more cocktail to finish off a fabulous anniversary dinner.

For my outfit, I wanted to do a mix of chic and sexy, so I pulled out my vintage Ralph Lauren lace turtleneck which was fun to wear just a black bra underneath, paired with a white blazer from Vici Collection, black coated skinnies from Madewell, minimal black heels from Jeffrey Campbell, and my Hermes Constance belt.

Wish me luck testing out that mom life with my sis this week!

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

XO,

Stephanie

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SO CUTE!

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Mai Tai

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Cheers

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Oysters to die for…

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Lobster Bisque

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Lobster Roll

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“Garden Party” for dessert 🙂

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Outfit Details ::

Top :: Vintage Ralph Lauren (similar)

Blazer :: Vici Collection

Denim :: Madewell

Belt :: Hermes

Shoes :: Jeffrey Campbell

Bag :: Chanel

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Instagram Roundup

Hi Guys! I hope everyone is having an awesome summer! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that is where I hang out most of the time, be sure to follow 🙂 I thought I would do an Instagram roundup to clue you in on some great summer buys. If you can’t tell already, I have been living in my Dolce Vita sandals linked below.

After Roger and I celebrate our 3 year anniversary (geez time flies) I am headed to Sea Cliff, New York to meet my baby niece Willa for the first time, and hang out with my adorable Nephew Wes, my sister, and her husband. This beach vacay, and family time is just what I needed. When I get back stay tuned for a shoppable Instagram page, an Oakland Blonde Snapchat, and a blog revamp coming this fall after we return from our trip to Paris!

Thanks for stopping by!

XO,

Stephanie

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Shorts: Vintage Calvin Klein (similar) Tank: American Apparel: Old ( similar)

Bikini: Rosa Cha Sandals: Dolce Vita

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Dress: Current Elliot  Hat: Ace of Something Sandals: See Above

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Top: Madewell Belt: Hermes  Skirt: Madewell Jacket: Schott NYC Sandals: See Above

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Shoes: Marc Fisher  Jeans: A GOLD E  Bag: Mansur Gavriel

 

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Top: Madewell  Jeans: A GOLD E Bolo Tie : Vintage  Bag: Chanel

Summer Solstice

Yesterday officially marked the first day of summer, but in the Bay Area it feels like summer started a month ago. These photos were taken on a beautiful sunny evening in SF a couple of weeks ago, and I am finally getting around to posting them. I am going to live in this For Love and Lemons romper this summer. It is so light and airy, and the bell sleeves are fabulous. I kept it simple with my Chanel maxi flap, and my Rag and Bone Harrow booties. Happy Summer, stay tuned for more summer shopping guides and outfits!

Thanks for stopping by!

XO,

Stephanie

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Outfit Details::

Romper :: For Love and Lemons

Booties :: Rag and Bone

Bag :: Chanel

Summer Trend Report

Summer and Fall are the two seasons that I get excited for, don’t ask me why!
Here are some of the trends and styles I will be rocking this summer…
Long Sleeved Rompers: I love a lightweight bell sleeved romper and there are so many brands that are making them, For Love and Lemons, Flynn Skye and Shoe Me Your Mumu to name a few. This trend is a breezy and fresh nod to the seventies.
Wedges: I am not usually a wedge girl, but they are so much more comfortable and designers like Jeffrey Campbell, Valentino and Chloe are adding details to give this style a fashion forward feel.
Tassels: I am seeing tassels on everything! My favorite is a removable tassel that you can put on your purse or beach bag.
One Piece Swimsuits: One pieces are no longer for covering up! Sites like Revolve and Free People are showing us one pieces that are even sexier than a bikini, while still leaving a little to the imagination.
Interesting Sunnies: I am normally in classic aviators, but the shapes, colors and cool lenses from brands like Quay, House of Holland, and WildFox  are so much fun!
Happy Summer, and stay cool out there!
XO,
Stephanie
Summer Trend Report

 


For Love Lemons floral romper
$155 – shopbop.com

Robin Piccone one piece swimsuit
$185 – bloomingdales.com

Mar y Sol handbags tote
$140 – bloomingdales.com

House of Holland mirror sunglasses
$115 – brandoutlet.borderfree.com

Wildfox sunglasses
$240 – harrods.com

What a Time to be Alive

I made it four months without shopping at all, and although I did not make it the full year, I am pretty proud of my progress. I am continuing to shop my closet, and have started doing closet overhauls and wardrobe refreshes for clients in the Bay Area. Shopping for other people helps me cut back on shopping for myself, and I absolutely love helping my clients feel confident and fabulous. The culprit that brought out the credit card was this jacket from Not Another Label. I found this brand on Instagram and I am a huge Drake fan, so I had to have this jacket. I wore it out on date night with my fave red boots, and a bold red lip. The high waisted skinnies, and crop top are a perfect canvas to let the jacket do the talking. I hope everyone has a nice relaxing Sunday night, we are about to watch Game of Thrones 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

XO, Stephanie

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Outfit Details ::

Jacket :: Not Another Label

Top :: Madewell

Jeans :: Madewell

Booties :: Jeffrey Campbell for Free People

Sunnies :: Quay

Bag :: Chanel