Travel 

24 Hours in Paris

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holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger

 
2019 has definitely been a “well travelled” year, I’ve been in and out of the country more times than I can count – a lot of this has been travel due to work (Sweden, Copenhagen, Helsinki + Munich this year), but then I’ve also of course travelled for myself – this year this has been Barcelona, New York (well, that was half work half personal), Toulouse, Split and Hvar, Turin and most recently (and perhaps my last “non-work” trip of the year? TBC) I went to Paris with my boyfriend Levi. I don’t always do travel posts (it really depends on how eventful the travel was), but I thought I would do one for Paris as a short stay in Paris is so efficient and a good idea for a weekend break if you live in the UK (literally just across the pond to get there).
 

holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger
holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger

 
I’ve actually been to Paris twice before, but when I was a child and on family holidays. On both occasions the trips were pretty much for me and my brothers to just have the best time in Disneyland every. single. day. I otherwise haven’t had Paris as a top pick for weekend breaks until this very special occasion. It was mine and Levi’s 5 year anniversary – what location other than Paris is more perfect for an anniversary?!

Travel – London

We hopped on a 06:00 flight out to Paris on Saturday 19th October, and I think that might officially be the earliest flight I’ve ever taken in my life. Early flights always seem like a great idea at the time when the serious price discount captures your heart – but when the day comes it’s nothing short of painful. The good thing is, we landed around 08:00 Paris time/CET which literally gave us the entire day and weekend to enjoy the city.
 

holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger
holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger

 

Accommodation

We stayed at a hotel called Hotel du Collectionneur near Champs-Élysées. When I travel with work I usually say at some older school (as in long standing), but seriously classic and gorgeous hotels, so that’s what I wanted to recreate with this stay. HDC marketed itself as a really luxurious, “award winning” 5-star hotel, so I was really excited to stay there (I love a good hotel, if you haven’t realised…), but it fell super short of expectations to say the least. It was functional, and definitely nice, but it wasn’t old-school in a classic and grand way, it was just sort of… old. The food was totally overpriced and super sub-par. And we found a damn humongous spider crawling up our wall when we were about to go to sleep which made me paranoid for the rest of the night. That said – the staff was nice, and the location was very central. You win some you lose some but I expected more given how they advertised themselves.
 

holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger
holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger

 

Travel – Paris

Travelling around Paris was super simple – once we got the hang of it. Making our way from the airport was somewhat of a disaster and a lot of up and down, but we got to where we needed to be after just over an hour or so. Once in the city, we would just buy a day ticket for I believe less than 2 Euros, and use that to jump on and off the underground based on where Google Maps instructed us to go. I always say the London Underground is one of the most efficiently functioning travel systems I’ve ever experienced (well, most of the time) – having travelled quite a bit around Europe – but it’s totally overpriced. I think one journey on it’s own is £2 let alone a day ticket. Similarly to London, undergrounds were almost everywhere you turned, so we’d just jump on a tube and take it from there. We tried to use one of those hop on/hop off Lime scooters when out and about but as is our luck… they didn’t even work for us.
 

holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger
holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger

 

Things to do

After having a short nap at the hotel upon arrival (given the 06:00 wake up and all), we set out in the afternoon to start to explore the city. Usually when we go on holiday we just roll up, set off on foot and explore the city on our first day, starting from the centre, however given Paris has so many sights, we had a mental tick list of things we wanted to see. Below are the places we visited:

  • Arc de Triomphe & Champs-Élysées
    – The funny thing is, I remember visiting Champs-Élysées as a child, but I thought it was a statue. Clearly, I had no idea what was going on. Nice views and a nice stroll, respectively, none the less
  • Musée d’Orsay – As we were walking down to The Louvre from Champs-Élysées, we passed a museum which seemed inviting and had free entry – so how could we say no. It turned out to be Musée d’Orsay which is an art museum housing finely crafted and interesting sculptures, as well as very elaborate and eye catching paintings which almost all have some interesting history behind them. I’m usually not one for art museums – I tend to prefer history or science museums where I feel like I learn something and otherwise find art museums to be super boring, but this one was on the better ones I’ve been to and I think it’s because behind every sculpture and painting, there was a story. Sometimes these stories were in French and I didn’t understand them, but – occasionally they’d come with an English translation attached and it certainly made the whole experience that little bit more interesting.
  • The Louvre – This was definitely a gorgeous landmark to visit, we came just as the sun was setting which was quite a lovely view. We were actually interviewed whilst here by a few ladies running a BBC Sounds podcast called No Country for Young Women, it was about diversity in Paris and our views. What I can say is that visiting Paris the other week, vs. visiting when I was a child, it is most definitely a more diverse city than I otherwise first saw some years back. But of course, I don’t know the ins and outs about how things really are over there (ps: we were cut out of the final podcast – I reckon it’s because we didn’t say anything controversial enough lmao. We move anyways!)
  • Eiffel Tower – I don’t know how you actually get in to the Eiffel Tower – I assume there are some tickets online that you have to book months in advance – but every time I’ve gone to Paris the queues have been insane. That said, admiring from the outside and taking cute photos works just fine for me, and has on the three different occasions I have visited. 🙂 Jokes aside, the tower is as gorgeous as the internet hypes it up to be, but more so when it starts to shine/glitter on the hour once it goes dark. I imagine it takes some time for a view like that to get old
  • Love Lock Bridge – Turns out the locks from the Love Lock Bridge were removed a few years ago as there were millions of them weighing down the bridge and essentially making it unsafe. So although the trip to the bridge was uneventful… we stopped off at a cute coffee shop afterwards which made the travel down there a little more worthwhile

 

holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger
holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger

 

Where to eat

We settled down to eat dinner near the Eiffel Tower so as you can imagine, most of the nice restaurants we came across were fully booked up for the evening. That said, we Googled and found a place called 20 Eiffel which was right by the Eiffel tower that had a table available for 2 that evening. We got a set menu which I think was around EUR 30-35 and it was amazing. The service was fantastic, super quick, and the staff was friendly… but more so the food was just so delicious I am salivating just thinking about it. I went for mussels for my starter and we both settled on guinea fowl for our mains. If you’re ever in Paris and need a recommendation, 20 Eiffel is definitely mine!

Overall – it was lovely to be back in Paris again for a short but sweet trip to celebrate 5 years together. If you’re thinking of doing a quick break across the pond – I’d definitely recommend taking a trip to this romantic city!
 

holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger
holiday, vacation, travel, paris, france, travel blogger

 

Nov 17 2019 at 5:40 pm   ·   Leave a Comment   ·   Posted Under Travel






Lifestyle 

My Morning Routine: The What and the Why

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motivation, inspiration, blogger, fashion blogger, morning routine, entrepreneurs

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg wakes up at 8am and first checks his phone and Facebook (go figure); Richard Branson rises at 5am and first gets in a workout, saying “I have learned that if I rise early I can achieve so much more in a day, and therefore in life”; Bill Gates hits the treadmill first thing; Bezos does the same and reads his morning paper.

Reading about how all these successful people frame their mornings, I thought I’d scribble down my own routine. I mean – I’m not a billionaire (lol), but I like to believe I am quite intentional with what I do to start the day… as often as I can be.
 

1. 5.45 – 06.00 wake

I wake up around 06.00 to get ready for and head to the gym. Although before getting out of bed – I first check my phone and social media more specifically for notifications overnight. I very much used to be an evening/post-work gymer, but I decided to switch things up because I started to find this year that my evenings would often not go to plan, and late nights would mean that I missed a planned session. Essentially, by going to the gym in the morning I took back control of my own time. Aside from that, what I love about an early morning gym session is that it gets me truly set for the day. Plus – once it’s out of the way, it’s out of the way, and the “I need to go to the gym today” feeling doesn’t hang over my head all day. Also – it means that once work’s done I only have to worry about one major thing… and that’s eating.
 

Around 06.45 – 07.45: Workout

Before I leave my house I also chug down a glass of water – this is just because I genuinely find it hard to drink sufficient water throughout the day, so at least by doing this I’m getting 250ml out of the way before 7am. I then either walk 20 minutes to the gym or take public transport, these days it’s more the latter as it’s so dark in the mornings and hence quieter than during the summer. At the moment I am doing a 16 week weight training programme (I’m currently on week 7), it’s a glute focused guide but targets the entire body with upper body, cardio & ab workouts. Once winter hit and it got cold outside I started finding it hard to get motivated to get up in the morning and work out, but I found that starting a new challenge (i.e. this guide), popped some motivation back into me again. The gym is definitely great headspace for me, it’s also a good feeling when you set goals and are able to achieve them – be it a new personal best re: your strength, a faster run, or a slice lower fat percentage. Input almost uniformly equals output when it comes to health & fitness.
 

Work starts: 08:20 – 08:30

After the gym, I get ready for work at my office (5 minute walk from my gym) as they have some pretty nice changing rooms / showers (much better than the PureGym alternative…) Once I finish getting ready and hit the desk, some time around 08:20/08:30 depending on the day, I log-in and glance over Bloomberg and my e-mails for (i) any major overnight news; (ii) any very important e-mails and (iii) in the case of my job, any new deals on the screens (that we might have missed, more specifically, or that may just be interesting to our clients). I could bore you with my job – but in a nutshell I work in Investment Banking and help clients raise money through issuing debt to various investors. Provided all is well once I’ve checked off the three points above (it usually is), I then head to the canteen to grab some breakfast. On Mondays I eat an egg white omelette with onions and bacon, for rest of the week I have toast, chicken sausages and poached eggs. My favourite thing about my work is… breakfast and lunchtime. 🙂 I like to eat, if you haven’t realised.

After breakfast, I either (i) clear out my e-mail inbox, and then write my to-do list for the deal; (ii) clear out my e-mail inbox, and start off on my to-do list that I wrote the prior day or (iii) jump headfirst into work… maybe even whilst I’m eating breakfast. (i) – (iii) pretty much escalate in terms of how busy I am – I just try to be as productive and efficient as possible because I don’t like to spend all evening in the office. As much as I am happy to stay when duty calls – I am not here for super late nights in the office (in my line of work, a late “ish” night becomes anything post 20:00, but a genuinely late night I’d call 22:00+, on a standard day I leave the office between 19:00 and 20:00). The reason being is that as big as a factor in my life work is – there are also many other things I have on my mind – be it this blog, Skylish & Skylish Fit, side hustles… I need time in the evening to ever even picture developing myself and my passions in ways away from work, hence why I always try to be sensible with my time in the office.

Boom – there you go. A pretty structured morning routine. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m quite a structured gal. I write to do lists, I set timelines, goals & resolutions and I make plans… that I don’t always follow. As structured as the above sounds – I sleep in at the weekends, laze around, turn up and give my body the rest and fun it deserves… it’s all about balance. I’m writing this disclaimer as I was talking to someone recently about the above and they responded “my only resolution/goal is the drink more wine” – but the two can co-exist. 😉 If you know me you know I love to have a good time, but I also like to try my best to be my best and for me that’s through structure and occasional goal-setting. You just have to do what works for you.
 

What is your morning routine like?
Oct 30 2019 at 9:35 pm   ·   Leave a Comment   ·   Posted Under Lifestyle