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PARDON MY FRENCH



les filles aiment leur vin a la Brasserie Lippe

You could spend a lifetime in Paris and still not conquer everything there is to see and do in this magical city. Nonetheless it’s worth forgoing beauty sleep in favor of witnessing at least a tiny portion of what Paris has to offer. I’ve shared my views on how lovely Paris can be in the rain, but it can be equally mesmerizing at night.

Though it doesn’t run on quite the same 24/7 schedule as New York, it does become an entirely different yet still very much alive town through the late night hours. Most bistros and sidewalk cafes are open all night, or at least into the early hours of the morning, which contributes a constant, comforting glow to the otherwise desolate streets. Then of course there are the discos, bars, and nightclub, which are open as long as there is demand (which there always is).



While these are all promising options, my favorite kind of Parisian night is spent strolling. Strolling along the seine, through residential neighborhoods, alone main streets… It feels as though Paris was designed with the late-night roamer in mind. And if you start to get chilly, you can be sure un verre de vin rouge is never far away. 




LA VIE à MONTE CARLO



              At the risk of exposing my inner nerd, I have to confess that ever since I first saw ‘Monte Carlo’ (that cinematic masterpiece starring Selena Gomez) in high school I’ve been dreaming of coming to Monaco. While I was sadly not mistaken for a wealthy socialite nor was I ushered into the finest suite at the Hotel de Paris under false pretenses, I did absolutely fall in love with the petite town.

            The Principality of Monaco (of which Monte Carlo is the capital) is the second smallest country in the world. To satisfy my inner New Yorker’s need to relate everything back to NYC, the country is about half the size of Central Park. But what they lack in square miles, they make up for in extreme luxury. The country is still technically ruled by a royal family, The House of Grimaldi, the same family made famous when Grace Kelly married into it in 1956.


            Rather than staying in Monaco, we took a car from our base in Nice, which afforded us the most spectacular views of the dramatic cliffs and harbors along the Mediterranean. Though the area is technically tiny, they do make use of their limited space by building everything on top of something else. Allegedly there are elevators hidden around town to make getting around town easier, but failing to locate them resulted in some very sore thighs the next day.


After doing a bit of shopping and exploring the casino (where a group hilariously mistook my friend for Pharrell Williams), we felt it was time for another bottle of wine on the port. This is where our wanting to adhere to local customs slowly transforms into benign alcoholism… As with Cannes, I felt the overwhelming desire for my life to be set to a soundtrack- this time ‘High Society’ by Betty Who. As she croons on the track, “We'll drink Chardonnay through the day cause we say so.” Well said.


HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2015: THE LUXE LIST


           Somehow it’s already the 10th of December and New York has magically transformed into a modern winter wonderland strung in fairy lights and snowflakes. As I take in my festive surroundings a familiar feeling of doom falls over me as that long list of Christmas shopping I’ve been putting off hits me like an avalanche. I’m guessing it’s probably not a completely foreign emotion to most of you, but one that really must be dealt with right away.

            Dashing all over town in search of the perfect gift for loved ones can be as merry an experience as you make it. If you’re someone who knows what she wants and where to find it, more power to you. For the rest of us it can be stressful if you’re pressed on time or ideas. In an effort to ease some of the holiday jitters, I’ve put together a little list of ideas for everyone on your list. The best part?  They can all be purchased online, with a well-deserved glass of bubbly in hand.


BEST FRIENDS: 


A cheeky Pamela Barsky clutch to display your friend's quirkier side  to the rest o the world. With over 50 witticisms to choose from, there is surely something to appeal to your inner narcissist/bad dancer/chromic social-media over sharing.

copper mugs, $30, Mark and Graham

Maybe I’m just an alcoholic, but I don’t believe any proper girl’s night in is complete without a cocktail. Why not make it extra special and get one monogramed for her?


MOM: 

This customized, luxe photo book is perfect for the sentimentalist. Artifact Uprising’s website allows you to upload and design your own book offering a number of sizes and layouts to choose from. I gave my mom one last year as a souvenir from a trip to Ireland and she keeps it right by her bedside.


For the binge-watcher(/drinker), why not go for a Real Housewive’s themed set of wine glasses? You can get them customized as specifically as you’d like, anything from the Real Housewives of Bedford Avenue to the Real Housewives of Little Rock.

DAD:




My Dad has traditionally been the toughest to shop for, because her seems to own the most items of anyone I know. Thankfully he could always use a new comfy cardigan, but the idea seems so unoriginal year after year (a recluse only needs so many sweaters). Instead, why not go for something he never knew he needed like a nice pair of noise canceling headphones or a beer flight tray?

BROTHER: 


We like to joke that my younger brother “is the college experience,” as he is constantly talking about the wild times he and his fraternity brothers have on campus. Whether your brother is still in school or holding on to his old ways for dear life, it’s possible he doesn’t have time to shop for proper clothing. At this point, I’m practically my brother’s personal stylist and Christmas is the perfect time to update his wardrobe selections.

If he’s got a better grip on his closet, a laptop tray is a useful gift that can allow him to work (or watch Netflix) in bed. If he’s a big reader, sign him up for Stack, a magazine subscription service which sends a new surprise independent title to your door every month.

SISTER: 


Honestly, the way to go would be treating her to brunch and a screening of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s upcoming movie, Sisters. If you want something that fits under the tree, why not make it something inspirational like Blogilates' new 2016 fitness planner? It’s a great way to create a helpful schedule that takes your workout goals into consideration.

BOYFRIEND/S.O.: 


Rather than stressing out about the ‘right’ gift for wherever you are in your relationship (or if you don’t even know where that is), try signing the two of you up for an activity you can enjoy together. There’re some great cooking classes on the market and one I’ve especially been dying to try is Brooklyn Bread Lab’s Pasta making tutorial. You could even follow it up with a tasting tour of The Brooklyn Brewery!

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Caroline Mason: 21. Native New Yorker (and one time North Carolinian). Assistant to Derek Blasberg. Just a girl who is OCD about all things fashion, drinks way too much coffee, and has an affinity for late night talk shows and travel books. FIT class of 2016. Previously with Karla Otto PR, Lori Goldstein and Lester Garcia.

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