Jamaica Mon

I recently traveled to Jamaica for an amazing family trip that I’m still thinking about daily. It was a gorgeous vacation, filled with vibrant colors, turquoise blue waters and warm, friendly people. We stayed at the beautiful Tryall Club in a house overlooking the vast greenery of Jamaica and all of the stunning views the country has to offer.

The house was absolutely perfect for 12 people. It was spacious enough where it felt as though everyone had their own space and alone time if you wanted it. We had a gorgeous pool overlooking the sea where we spent a lot of our days together just laughing and catching up. Every morning, we’d wake up in our tropical green and brown rooms looking out at a view of trees which almost reminded me a bit of the movie Jurassic Park.

IMG_1220 IMG_1219 IMG_1215 (1) IMG_1214 (1)We had a chef at the house that cooked a variety of simple, local foods including vegetables, rice, and protein filled with Jamaican spices. Every night, there were fun decorative napkins waiting for us at dinner which I wish I had learned how to do!

The rum punches and cocktails were a must have which we treated ourselves to on most nights. The location of the beach from the house was right down the street which was perfect to get to with the golf carts the house had so we could come and go as we pleased. The decor of the island was very british colonial which I thought was beautiful. There was a touch of old world and elegance in every room you walked into.

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Beach trips are my favorite to pack for because I know that as long as I have a few bathing suits, a variety of cover ups, short & long dresses then I’m set to go. A perfect sun hat is also the only accessory needed all week. Here are a few of my outfits from the trip!

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Family time is precious, especially as we get older, so this trip was really special. Jamaica was the perfect mix of relaxing on the beach and fun day activities like zip lining and catamaran rides. This will be a vacation I will always remember.

London Town

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Another incredible c’est moi natasha trip in the books! If you caught my post last week, I traveled to London and visited my friend Casey along with my friend Caroline. The three of us have been inseparable since freshman year of college, so taking on this adventure together was really special. We walked miles on miles (one day we walked 13 miles aka a half marathon) and explored the ins and outs of the beautiful city of London.

Here is my must to do list if you ever find yourself there! It is truly an amazing city. 

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Where to Eat:

Dishoom // Hands down the best Indian food I’ve ever had. There is a long wait, so be sure to make a reservation ahead of time but it is out of this world good.

Natural Kitchen // Really healthy meal, & perfect for lunch. It’s a big plate of healthy food at a good price (10 pounds I believe) and you get one main course and three side salads of your choice.

The Garrison Pub // Sunday roast is a MUST if you are in London and The Garrison does it right. They also serve some really great cocktails and it’s a typical English Pub vibe.

Borough Market // A market with tons and tons of vendors, food trucks and little stores that sell everything and anything related to food. We went to Borough Market twice because it was so big and there were tons of samples. If you are a foodie like I am, definitely go here. The Burgerito and Grilled Cheese – yes and yes!

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Where to Drink:

The Shard Hotel // Amazing hotel that looks like a shard of glass (get it – shard hotel) and perfect to grab a nice cocktail with friends. It’s definitely pricey but the views from the cocktail bar are amazing, especially from the bathroom (who would have thought!).

Hej (pronounced Hey) Coffee // The cutest little coffee shop with fantastic cappuccinos, beautiful flowers surrounding the shop, and amazing scones. The cinnamon buns are really yummy too.

High Tea Westminster Abbey // I wish I could have high tea all day every day, it is so good. I am definitely going to be having tea much more often now. We went to High Tea at Westminster Abbey which was perfect. It was 16 pounds with tons of food ( scones, little sandwiches, chocolates) and great tea as well.

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What to do:

Tate Modern Museum of Art // Beautiful and FREE art museum with so many different artists. The museum itself is currently being renovated and is looking to be very pretty. The gift shop is great too.

London Bridge, Towner Bridge, Millennium Bridge // So many bridges and all of them are really fun to cross. They each have their own characteristics but once you walk on them there are tons of spectacular views.

Hyde Park // Beautiful park where you can rent lawn chairs for 1 pound and sit on the green. It reminded me so much of central park and as you walk through it you find yourself looking at Kensington Palace.

Columbia Road Flower Market // I loved the flower market, it definitely get’s crowded but this east side of London is up and coming as artists and hipsters reside there. I loved this area so much I bought my first piece of real art work which showed the map of the flower market. I’ll share soon!

Parliament, Big Ben // It’s the Big Ben – enough Said.

Brick Lane Antique Stores // Brick Lane was fun to walk around and peak in at all of the antique stores. There are tons and tons of stores with the most charming pieces – a really cool neighborhood.

Kensington Palace // The Royal Family summer palace surrounded by flowers, greens and a beautiful pond.

Marlybone // Shopping shopping & more shopping as well as breath taking apartments.

London Eye // It’s the big ferris wheel eye! This time around, I didn’t go on top (there are long long lines) but it is really pretty to take pictures of and see as you walk along the river.

Notting Hill // Fashionable and ‘posh’ area of London with stunning homes, amazing shopping and high end restaurants.

Harrods // Famous upscale department store with Shoe Heaven (yes, literally shoe heaven), Toy Kingdom (hundreds and hundreds of toys) and a pretty awesome food hall with great bites.

Brighton // We took a day trip to Brighton which was absolute perfection. It’s a mini city by the beach just an hour a way from the London hustle and bustle. There are really cute streets full of stores and a pier with cotton candy and games. Brighton will need it’s own post because there was so much to do and it was so pretty.

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All in all there is SO much to see, eat, drink and do in London but these were my favorite go to’s on this trip. Have you been to London before? Any tips or recommendations on where I should go next time I find myself there? Would love to hear!

PS. Check out more a few other c’est moi natasha travel guides – San Francisco (part 2), Charleston, Ios Greece,

Ios Itinerary


My family and I love exploring all the different islands every time we go to Greece. Since my dad is Greek, most of my family lives there, so I am fortunate enough to get to see them at least once a year. Other than Santorini and Mykonos, their are hundreds and thousands of absolutely beautiful islands with unique styles, unique local foods, and different vibes. This year, we decided to explore the island of Ios.

Ios is a very mountainous and hilly island, with gorgeous views as when driving around from end to end. There are pretty beaches, cute restaurants and a really fun town with a great night life. Here are a few of my favorite places we went to last month when we were there!





Where to Stay:

++ Ios Palace: Ios Palace was clean, affordable, and had a gorgeous pool right in the middle of the hotel. The views were incredible from Ios Palace as it sat on top of a hill so there were views of the entire island. We were lucky to have rooms with beach views as well so when I swung my balcony door open, the sea was right there in front of me.

Where to beach:

++ Manganari Beach:  This was the best beach in Ios with crystal blue water, beautiful sand, two tavernas and it was very peaceful. We went to Manganari a few times during our stay because it was comfortable, accessible and the views driving down to the beach were breath taking. Getting there by car or bus is a definite must. There are a lot of sun beds to choose from and it’s easy to navigate around.

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Where to Eat:

++ The Mills: There were a lot of windmills in the center of Ios’s town which was unique to the island. A restaurant lay right on top of a hill with a huge windmill right behind it. The restaurant had typical greek food but it was admittedly a bit touristy. What I liked most about The Mills was that the ambiance of the town surrounded the restaurant and the sunset was on point too!

++ Koumpara Seafood Restaurant: This seafood restaurant lay right on the beach. There was a view of the sea right in front and the decor was a fresh take on greek decor where everything was white with candles hanging down from ropes. The seafood was really really good but the service was pretty mediocre. This was definitely the best seafood in town though!

++ Vilaeti Taverna: An authentic Greek taverna that is family owned is how I would describe this place. The food was so delicious and it was by far my families favorite so we ended up going two nights in a row. The service was great and the food was delicious. The restaurant is tucked away from the center of the town so a car is necessary to get here.

Where to Drink: 

++ Click Cocktail Bar: This bar is an outdoor bar we loved going to. The vibe wasn’t too young, there were people of all ages, and the cocktails were prepared tastefully. It was definitely a loungey feely bar and we always had a great time with good throwback music.

++ Pathos Sunset Cocktail Bar: I admittedly never went to this bar but I so wish I did! The pictures show amazing sunset views and when I asked the locals they recommended going for a drink because the bar is beautiful too. I’m leaving this on my wish list to try since I only heard great things.

++ Chora: Also known as “hora” means “the town”. This is what everyone called the middle of the town in Ios where the nightlife is happening. There are probably hundreds of bars, restaurants and cocktail lounges one can choose from right in Chora.

Toi et Moi Pour Toujours

Sparkler 2In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that the main reason I traveled to France this past weekend was for my aunt’s beauitful wedding. And that’s exactly what it was – an absolutely beautiful wedding weekend. It had been such a long time since my entire family was all together and that was my favorite part of the trip. We laughed as we remembered old jokes from way back when, we danced the night away as if no time had passed at all, and we reminisced on all of the moments we’ve shared together. There were some members of my family that I had not seen in over ten years so for all of us to be together again was really special.

My aunt wore a gorgeous, classic, cream colored dress that fit her beautifully. To top the outfit off, she wore sparkly shoes and a pearl necklace to match her pearl hair accessory. She was incredibly happy as she walked down the stairs from the mayors office, where the ceremony took place, hand in hand with her man by her side.

The reception took place in an elegant hotel inside a large banquet hall where each table was named after a specific type wine from the French region. Foie Gras (my absolute favorite) overflowed the appetizer section, champagne bottles were endless (my second absolute favorite), and fountains of chocolate desserts took over the tables. The ceremony and the party couldn’t have been more perfect. I hope we don’t wait for another wedding for all of us to be together again because this was way too much fun…Cousins Dancing Me and Mom Me and Mom 2 the bride and cousinswalking in mayors office WOmen Sparkler outside tent Men

PS. If you’re in a wedding mood, see a bridesmaid post here, a wedding post here and an engagement post here!

Fontainebleau

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I spent a few days in France, about an hour south of Paris to be a bit more exact. My mother is French and moved to the United States when she was 17 but her entire family is still there. Since my grandmother, my cousins, my aunts & uncles live in France, it gives me the perfect opportunity to visit both a country I love and my family. It also gives me a chance to practice my francais which was in dire need!

I spent many summers as a little girl in Fontainebleau running around the forests, the lakes and the merry go rounds. Eating croissants from the boulangerie (bakery), drinking cappuccino at a local cafe, and walking on the zig-zag cobblestone streets, made me feel all giddy inside on this trip. Since we arrived on Thursday afternoon, I was able to walk around and explore the town a bit on Friday. I was mainly in France for my aunt’s wedding (more to come on the wedding!) but I was able to take a few snaps on my good camera as I was exploring (yes, I’m still practicing)! Four days really flew by and I miss everyone already but I cannot wait to go back.

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*all images taken by Natasha for c’est moi natasha

PS. See more #cestmoinatashatravel posts here, here and here!

Weekend Getaway

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 9.21.27 PMAs much as I love New York City, there are times when I find myself wanting to escape all of the hustle and bustle. Being surrounded by trees and greenery in the middle of the woods or right by a lake sounds pretty good to me, especially if I need a weekend away to unwind. I’ve talked to a few friends and they’ve recommended exploring Airbnb  options for a weekend getaway. They absolutely swear by the site. The prices are extremely reasonable, the pictures are very accurate and the reviews are really helpful when trying to narrow down options. I’ve never used Airbnb before so I was really curious to check out a few places and prices for a potential trip. Connecticut is just a couple of hours away so I narrowed my search down to that location.

Here are a few really awesome places I found that make me want to book something in CT right away. Have you ever used Airbnb before? Do you have any suggestions or recommendations on where to escape? Would love to hear your thoughts or advice on where to look!
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Charming Charleston Guide


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You’ve probably figured this out already but I love to travel. I also love to find cool spots to grab a bite to eat, to sip on a cocktail and to join in on activities during my adventures. I’ve visited Charleston about three or four times now and each time I go, I find this cute little city more and more charming. It really is the absolute cutest. Everyone is so kind, the cocktails are on point and the food is simply outstanding.

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite places I’ve been to so far in Charleston and a few “to do’s” I’ve really enjoyed. Have you ever visited Charleston? Any favorite, awesome spots that I should try next time I go?!

Cocktails:

The Bar at Husk // A historic brick covered bar with an amazing menu full of concoctions. Tip – there is an upstairs part of the bar with tables and seating where you can order apps!

Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar // Located at the top of the Market Pavilion hotel, this bar has a view of the Charleston water scene and a beautiful pool right in the middle. Tip – It can get windy up there so bring a shawl or a sweater!

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{Hidden alley near King Street}
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{Beautiful Spanish moss trees}

Food:

Slightly North of Broad {SNOB} // Southern family oriented restaurant with historic chandeliers and decorations known for the shrimp and grits. Great for lunch! Tip – Make reservations far in advance or be prepared for a long wait!

Magnolias // Modern, southern, extremely delicious meals that are presented beautifully. Great service and great for dinner. Tip – It’s an amazing menu, try something you wouldn’t normally try!

Cypress // Owned by the same owners as Magnolias but the atmosphere is a bit different – it’s a larger space with a vast wine selection and impressive wine cellar. Tip – Get there early and have a drink at their beautiful bar, it’s worth it!

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{Husk Restaurant – a favorite}

To Do: 

Walk along King Street and shop! // My two favorite boutiques that I can spend hours are Worthwhile and Candlefish. I found these candles called Rewined candles at Candlefish and I bought the Pinot Grigio flavored one, it’s amazing! I wish I bought so many more!

Flea Market // Really fun place to wander through, there are so many different stands where you can buy and look at all of the handmade crafts made by local artisans.

Walk along the Waterfront Park //  You’ll get to see a beautiful view of the Charleston bridge, the main fountain in the middle of the park and all of the greenery that surrounds the city.

Carriage Ride // I actually haven’t done this YET but it’s on my number one things to do next time I go down there. Has anyone done a carriage ride in Charleston before? I’ve heard the tours are great and every time I see one of the carriages passing through I just want to hop on! 

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{Fountain by the park}

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{Historic horse carriage rides}

This is a very short list of things to try in Charleston because the city is full of amazing places and things to do. Next time I go back, I’ll post an updated version of this list with many more of my favorites!

PS. Have you seen my Kiawah post yet?

Home away from home

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetThere are currently two places in the whole wide world where I feel most relaxed and most myself – South Carolina and Greece. To be fair, I’ve only spent just a few weekends in Kiawah, South Carolina but it has definitely made my list of top two places, along with Greece, that I would choose to escape to at any point in time.

This past long weekend away solidified that feeling for me. I was introduced to Kiawah by the boyfriend who has been summering on the island for the past 20 years. This is the place where he learned how to swim, where he learned how to play golf, where he learned how to canoe – this is where he spent special moments with his closest friends. I have grown to love it and appreciate it just as much as he does.  

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IMG_0561My special place is Greece and it always has been. Ever since I was a little girl, it was really important for my parents to show me where I came from. My roots, my families past, my fathers small village, my culture, my language, my family – they always wanted me to be a part of it all as much as possible. From the history of Sparta, to the ancient ruins of Athens, to the unbelievable island views, Greece has it all. I feel the most beautiful, the most confident and the most relaxed when I’m there. I feel perfectly tanned, perfectly fed, and perfectly in my own world.
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Just like running gives me this rush of being on my own and independent, spending time in these two places gives me a similar sort of feeling. I can let go, relax, breath in and out, and feel calm. Having moved five or so times throughout my childhood, people have asked me, “well where do you consider home?” I may never really know where “home” truly was growing up – London, Italy, India, Connecticut, New Jersey, because all of those “homes” shaped the person I am today. But one thing I do know is that at this moment in time I feel most at home in Greece and in Kiawah – and I think that means just as much.
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*all pictures were taken in Kiawah this past weekend. See more snaps on c’est moi natasha’s Instagram!

PS. More c’est moi natasha travel posts, here and here!

Quality Time

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New York makes me want to rip off my clothes and dance down the street screaming i love this place and i have no intention of ever leaving.

– Pamela Barsky

Quality time with my friends, my family and my significant other is extremely important to me. I recently read an article about how meaningful experiences become a big part of who you are and I truly believe that memorable adventures I’ve taken with my favorite people, has shaped and strengthened my relationships. As I continue exploring NYC,  it’s really exciting to think about the new experiences I’ll continue having in my favorite city with my favorite people. 

This past weekend, I ventured off on a Brooklyn adventure. It was beyond gorgeous out and I’ve always loved exploring Williamsburg with a partner in crime. I love that the adventure took me out of my hustlin’ Manhattan comfort zone. It’s so much fun being a tourist in my own city so I definitely took full advantage of it on Saturday – with my backpack all buckled up and my flowy white dress all ready for spring, I was ready to go.

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Things to do:

+ Take the Ferry // It.is.awesome. Even though it may take a little longer than the subway (heads up: the L train is not working these next few weekends) it’s really fun to be outside on a boat, on the water, with a gorgeous view of the city and the Brooklyn Bridge. It made me feel like a true tourist being sucked right into the huge city.

+ Walk around the Smorgasburg Food Market // Oh my goodness, there is a plethora (yes, a plethora) of food stands at Smorgasburg. It is actually pretty crazy and pretty thrilling. I ended up walking around in circles for hours just looking and watching all of the delicious food being prepped by all of the vendors. It smells amazing too.

+ Walk around the Brooklyn Flea Market // This time around, the Brooklyn Flea Market wasn’t open but I definitely wish it was. There are a lot of super cute, hipster, stores right by the water with an entire view of the city as you thrift shop.

+ Walk around Bedford Ave. // Bedford Ave. is sort of like the fifth ave of Brooklyn but without all of the wildly expensive stores (not that there’s anything wrong with Chanel). There are a lot of cool stores, restaurants and events happenin’ on Bedford Ave. Especially dainty jewelry stores which are probably my absolute favorite.

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Places to Eat:

+ Smorgasburg Food Festival //  I just talked about walking in circles around all of the food vendors but obviously you have to take your pick at some point! I had an amazing Red Hook lobter roll which was perfectly mayod up on a toasted brioche role. For dessert, I scarfed down a Good Batch ice cream sandwich. I was so full but there was just so much more I wanted to try like the Ramen Burger despite the insane line.

+ Juliette // A sweet French restaurant right off of Bedford Ave., great for brunch, lunch, dinner and anything you want. It reminds me of the cute little cafes lined up on the beautiful streets of Paris. It’s perfect to stop by for a small quiche, eggs Benedict or a little something healthy. The bar is super cute too for a nice glass of wine or champagne.

+ Sweet Chick // All I have to say about this place is chicken n waffles. Chicken n waffles.

 Places to have a Drink:

+ Radegast Biergarten // Saturday was the first time I tried Radegast and it was awesome. It is a rather large beer garden with tons of places to sit and hang. There are hundreds of beers to try (I’m a wheat beer type of person) and they cook food right in the middle of the hall. There was a band too which made it more German like!

+ Wythe Hotel // This hotel has a gorgeous view of NYC if you go right upstairs. The cocktails are absolutely delicious and the decor is so chic chic. The roof is a definite must, especially at sunset.

+ Berry Park // This place is so much fun. Inside, it’s a bit of a darker bar with huge TV’s (perfect for sports watchers, which I am not) but you head to the rooftop, it becomes a sunny garden in the heart of the ‘burg. It’s a true gem with greenery surrounding all sides of the bar. The drinks are really great and the fries are even better!

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On my list to try: 

+ Allswell //

+ Brooklyn Bowl //

+ River Cafe //

+ Peter Lugers //

+ Diner //

 

PS. If you haven’t see my San Fran To Do and San Fran Bites/Cocktails guides, check ’em out!

 

1st image borrowed from here.

Packing Tips

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{Image via}

It’s no secret that I am very passionate about traveling. Weekend getawaysweeklong getaways or romantic getaways, I love it. A big part of traveling is packing appropriately which can be a challenging feat. It can also be a dreadful experience but if you follow an organized process, you won’t leave any necessities behind.

My mom is the most perfect packer – I am definitely not just saying that. She is a true globetrotter with years and years of experience. She has actually perfected the art of packing. I am happy to say that I started learning and listening early on as she’s taught me her magical ways.

Do you have any packing Do’s and Don’ts you swear by? Would love to hear them! Here are a few of mine that I’ve learned along the way!

Do’s:

1. Invest in a rolly bag – Leave the Vera Bradley fabric duffle bag at home. Even if you are traveling for just a couple of days, a rolly bag is always the way to go. It’s easier to get organized and it keeps everything in its rightful place. Invest in a nice piece of luggage because it will last you a lifetime. I currently have my eye on this one.

2. Separate your undergarments, shoes and beauty items – If you separate these items out first, it ensures you won’t leave any necessities behind. Having a proper bag for each of these will make it much easier to organize them within your rolly bag. I love using these types of  fabric laundry bags to put my shoes in (I actually take them from hotels I stay in – keep your eye out next time) and this case is my favorite investment piece for beauty items. I highly recommend it.

3. Put your outfits together ahead of time – Coordinate what you are going to wear and how you are going to wear different pieces ahead of time. Once you know which jeans with which cute shirt or which floral skirt with which white tank top would look good together, pack them in their order. This way, you will know exactly how many outfits you have for each day and it will keep you from over packing.

4. Pack a pair of undergarments in your carry on – If you are traveling to a far destination, you will more than likely check in a bigger bag. Having said that, make sure you pack a toothbrush, a pair of black jeans and a t-shirt, just in case your checked in bag get’s lost. Trust me, it happens! I have lost my fair share of luggage and it’s an amazing feeling to have a few back up items.

5. 1 1 1 –  Shoes take up a lot of space so limit the amount of shoes you pack. Rule of thumb for me is 1 1 1 – 1 pair of heels that I can mis match with anything, 1 pair of flats (sandals or boots) they need to be comfortable and 1 pair of sneakers, girls gotta exercise. This doesn’t include the shoes I wear for the plane ride, so I usually slip on a nice pair or flats that I can wear throughout my trip.

Dont’s: 

1. Never check in valuables – Those nice pairs of Chanel’s or Manolo’s go in you carry on bag and so does your jewelry. There is always a chance your checked in bag will get lost or someone may go about stealing valuables – it does happen. Bring it with you in your rolly so you can keep an eye on your things of worth.