POSTCARDS | BRUGES

image

Finally some trip photos! We’re heading up to Northern Wisconsin to visit my parents over Labor Day weekend and even though I’m their favorite only daughter, there’s no way they’re going to sit through 2,000 vacation photos. Dave and I weeded through the images last night (beer in hand) to create a thoughtful album to share with family and friends (four hours later…). First up, our day trip to Bruges:

Midway through our trip to Belgium, we visited the medieval city of Bruges, a quaint little town that looked like it was plucked straight from a storybook—and it would have been much more serene if it weren’t for the rowdy futbol fans littering the city square. We didn’t set out with much of an agenda in Bruges. We snaked up and down the cobblestone streets, stopping at bars and shops along the way.

It’s also where I spent entirely too much money in a Christmas shop. I’m powerless when it comes to Christmas ornaments and even more so after a couple of beers, but how could I possibly resist a little wooden Santa that was hand carved in Germany?! The kicker? There’s room to tuck an incense cone inside his body to create a tiny wisp of smoke that comes out of a small hole next to the pipe perched in his mouth. It’s great. Forty euros great? Yes! Dave was a killjoy and reminded me that euros do not equal dollars and I was spending 35% more than I thought I was. Pssh. Memories are priceless (or so I thought when I added more precious memories to my shopping basket). He should just be thankful I talked myself out of a 90 euro nutcracker.

Most of our day was spent gawking at architecture and canals, but we also visited:

  • De Garre: This little bar is tucked away down an alley, as all great Belgian watering holes are. It’s the only place in the world to enjoy their house beer, which is served with a small side of cheese to snack on.

  • Bierbrasserie Cambrinus: Bruges was a little on the pricey side and this certainly wasn’t a budget meal (one of our most expensive on the entire trip), but it was delicious and well worth the stop. 

  • Käthe Wohlfahrt: The most magical little Christmas shop.

  • Dille & Kamille: Think of this store as a slightly cheaper Crate & Barrel. It seemed silly to buy kitchen items overseas when I could buy it all Stateside, but I brought home adorable pot holders and a cheese grater. I’m disappointed  to see that they don’t ship to the U.S. 

  • 't Brugs Beertje: With a notable beer list and plenty of praise on Beer Advocate, there was no doubt we were stopping here before our train back to Brussels. I was also sold on the teddy bear logo.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

(View comments
Filed under: postcards travel bruges belgium 
HOME, SWEET HOME

image

We’re back from our Belgian getaway! We did so much in such a short amount of time that I need a few days to take it all in and flip through 2,000 trip photos with Dave privately before publishing any online! Let me know if you’re wondering about anything in particular. I’m penning an email to a reader with some of my must-sees and advice. I’ll relay the info in a post along with any other things you’re curious about. 

I also want to thank all of the ladies who submitted guest posts while I was gone. I’m grateful—and humbled—by your willingness to help out!

I’m going to be MIA from the Internet for the rest of the week enjoying time at home with the cat and imbibing at the Great Taste of the Midwest (as if we needed more beer…). I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you Monday! xoxo

(View comments
Filed under: travel belgium 
PACKING LIST | VERSAILLES

image

Today’s packing list for Versailles comes from Aimee of Little Luxury List

We may not all know what it would be like to live like royalty. But if you are in Versailles, you can definitely get a taste of the good life. Versailles is known for its Château de Versailles and is a former seat of French power.
But that’s not why my husband and I love it. We fell in love with with the tree-lined streets particularly in the morning when the dew dropped heavily from lush leaves. We also enjoyed meandering through the grounds of the great Château de Versailles keeping mental tabs on areas that would have been perfect for picnicking (if you don’t mind the occasional goat!). We were awed on a daily basis not only by the beautiful greenery, but the stately architecture throughout the town—imagine classic moldings, tall chandeliers, and beautifully embellished exteriors as well as interiors.  I would visit again in a heartbeat with baby in tow and my style would reflect Versailles’ understated elegance.
  1. A perfect layering t-shirt keeps me cool and comfortable.

  2. Fitted pants allow me to walk around for hours and rest on the occasional patch of grass.

  3. Classic, but whimsical studs are fun and wearable.

  4. A scarf is an great layering piece for cooler mornings and evenings. It also doubles well for covering a little one!

  5. Flats are essential footwear for walking around the cobblestone streets
image
(View comments
Filed under: travel guest post 
PACKING LIST | LONDON

image

Today’s packing list for London comes from Marissa of Thoughts from a Coffee Shop

I went to London two summers ago and instantly fell in love with everything about it. The museums are wonderful, afternoon tea is a trend I can get behind and I love the rain showers that pop up mid-afternoon. While in London get ready to eat fish and chips, learn a ton of history and walk up and down quaint little streets.  Who knows, you may just pick up a British accent!  

  1. To combat the daily showers, bring along a raincoat. This trench will keep you dry and looking pulled together, even after wandering around the tube station.

  2. One can never go wrong with a striped top, no matter what the season.

  3. A leather tote will do wonders for carrying along guide books and stashing little souvenirs from shops as you explore.

  4. Good walking shoes are a must but skip the athletic ones, unless you want to be labeled as a tourist! These ones provide support but blend in with the locals.

  5. Battling the elements can make hair unmanageable but slipping in a headband helps control flyaways. 

image

Image via here

(View comments
Filed under: travel guest post 
PACKING LIST | JAIPUR

image

Today’s packing list for Jaipur comes from reader Yukthi Aggarwal: 

There will be hardly any person who loves exotic locations and hasn’t fantasized about taking a trip to Jaipur. The capital of Rajasthan, a state rich in heritage, festivities, culture, colors, and beautiful forts and palaces, this city is vibrant with extremely warm people. Having my roots in the state and just a few hours’ drive from my hometown New Delhi, I have visited the city many times and get mesmerized every time. But, situated near the desert its generally hot around throughout the year with blazing sun during the day. So, here are my essentials to carry while in this city:

  1. You cannot go around the city famous for colors and jewelry without adding a piece to your outfit but summers call for something simple. And this is it.  

  2. A soft leather tote doesn’t burden your shoulders while carrying a water bottle, sunscreen and other essentials while playing tourist.

  3. The beautiful forts and palaces are not only huge in area but also some of them are on peak tops and require climbing on rocky terrain. A good pair of flats is a life saver to explore the city (not to forget the rocky Indian roads). 

  4. The perfect summer dress to reflect the harsh sunlight while keeping in mind the modesty factor required when in Indian crowds.

  5. You need a lot of protection from sun while touring around the city. A scarf and a pair of sunglasses are just the prerequisites before stepping out in the city.

  6. A hat also shields you from the sun.
(View comments
Filed under: travel guest post 
AWAY WE GO

image

We leave for Brussels this afternoon! Now that the pre-vacation stress of getting caught up on everything at home and work has subsided, I can finally revel in ten days of European bliss. I’m keeping my personal item on the plane light with just the essentials (scarf, passport, ear plugs and melatonin), but you can peek into the rest of my must-haves—jewelry included—over at Julie Leah’s blog

We’re purchasing a SIM card when we land, so I won’t be without Internet (ahem, Instagram) access for long. Just don’t be too harsh if there are one too many snapshots of beer and mussels. When in Brussels…

Things won’t be dull here, though. Nine incredible ladies put together a list of their packing essentials for vacations abroad and in the U.S. I hope it inspires you to starting planning your next getaway!

(View comments
Filed under: travel 
POSTCARDS FROM KENTUCKY

image

A trip to Kentucky over Memorial Day was just what we needed to curb our wanderlust until we head to Belgium next month. We had been itching to get something on the calendar earlier, but each time we talked about a destination (Puerto Rico! Miami! San Francisco!), our upcoming Euro trip reminded us that we really didn’t have the money to spend on a second significant vacation in 2014. Enter Louisville. We’ve already been to the city, but it was just a seven-hour road trip away—far enough to feel like a vacation, but close enough to avoid the expense of airline travel.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Outfit 1: LOFT dress | Rivet & Sway sunglasses c/o | Hermes bracelet | Jennifer Meyer x J.Crew bracelet | Cynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Sam Edelman sandals | Coach bag | YSL nail polish

Outfit 2: Rachel Zoe romper | Tory Burch wristlet (also love this one) | Hermes bracelet | Rivet & Sway sunglasses c/oCynthia Jones ring c/o | Lacee Alexandra ring c/o | Sam Edelman sandals 

(View comments
Filed under: postcards travel kentucky 
BON VOYAGE

image

…and we’re off!

I won’t be updating the blog while we’re away (aside from Sunday’s scheduled “Bauble of the Week”), but there will be plenty of bourbon-laden Instagrams to document our trip to Kentucky. I hope you have a relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

The above photo is from our 2012 trip to Louisville. Yes, those are penguins on the roof of 21c. The staff moves them to new locations in the hotel-restaurant-gallery hybrid each day. I’d love to spend the night here, but a more budget-friendly hotel is just fine with me.

(View comments
Filed under: bon voyage travel Kentucky 
CALLING ALL GUEST POSTS

image

As you know, we’re jet-setting to Belgium at the end of July and I’m hoping you’ll help me out while I’m gone. I’m looking for eight guest posts featuring an inspiration travel city and five items you’d pack in your suitcase. This could be for a vacation you’ve already taken, one you’re planning or just a fantasy escape. 

Example:

What’s not to love about Nantucket? There are cobblestone streets, fresh seafood, and a reason to squeeze every last striped item in my suitcase. The New York Times has already taken care of the heavy lifting for a long weekend getaway, leaving me with just two tasks: purchasing plane tickets and packing plenty of maritime must-haves, including:

  1. A pair of double pearl earrings. They’re an ideal mix between trendy and preppy, and they’ll look fantastic with a suitcase chock-full of stripes. (Snag a pair on eBay for a song.) 

  2. At least one striped dress to toss over a bathing suit or for a leisurely afternoon of shopping downtown.

  3. A canvas pouch to tuck away your daytime essentials and your new collection of seashells.

  4. A striped swimsuit in a patriotic color scheme. If a bikini isn’t your thing, try a navy or red striped one-piece. 

  5. Comfortable sandals in an understated color.

Interested in guest posting? Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Email me at jessica@bedknobsandbaubles.com (or leave a comment here with your email address) and let me know which city you’d like to create a five-piece essential packing list for.

  2. Pick an inspiration photo and your five items before June 15.

  3. Send your links to me via email with a paragraph that includes the city you picked, why you selected it, and a bit about the items you’d pack. Please send a copy of your blog logo as well. 

  4. I’ll put everything together in a collage for consistency and will let you know when it’s scheduled to go live. 

Cities already chosen:

  • Miami, Florida
  • Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Kennebunkport, Maine
  • Santorini, Greece
  • London, England
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Versailles, France or Stockholm, Sweden
  • St. Martin, Caribbean
  • Boston, Massachusetts 
  • Tallin, Estonia
  • San Jose/San Fransicso, California 

All of the spots are now full. Thank you to everyone for participating! (If you’re bummed that you missed out and would still like to contribute, let me know. I’m sure I’ll appreciate a couple more when I’m battling jet lag!)

(View comments
Filed under: guest post travel 
TRIP PLANNING: LOUISVILLE

image

Even though our trip to Belgium is on the horizon, we’ve been itching to take a long weekend somewhere stateside and settled on a return trip to the Bluegrass State. We visited Louisville a couple of years ago and checked off the major tourist attractions, freeing up this trip to meander through neighborhoods, discovering shops and bars along the way. There are a few must-dos on our list already: coffee at Please and Thank You (I’m definitely buying one of their adorable branded mugs), the races at Churchill Downs (we’ve done this already, but it’s too much fun to pass up), craft beer at Holy Grale (an old church renovated into a bar), a distillery tour at Woodford Reserve, and a stop at the Zappos/6pm outlet.

We leave next Friday in Dave’s convertible (oh la la). Let me know if there are any hidden gems I need to add to our itinerary!

{images via 12345}

(View comments
Filed under: travel louisville