If you didn’t know by now, Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world. When my mom retired, my sister and I figured it was the perfect time to have a girls trip to celebrate this milestone and we decided on Paris. This would be my moms 2nd trip there, my 3rd and my sisters very first time in this incredible city.

My first thought was how excited I was to be going on this adventure with them but my 2nd honestly was stressing out  a little about doing the same exact thing I had done in previous trips, over again.

Thankfully I came across this really unique tour of the city and knew I had to book it.

Cedric’s Paris offers many different tours around Paris while cruising in one of their old school CV2 cars OR a larger VW Kombi. While we would have fit very comfortably in a CV2 – I had my eye on the Volkswagen Kombi and decided to splurge and book that instead… after all, we were there to celebrate!

Cedric’s Paris offers many different types of tours but we went with the 2 hour Paris by Night Tour. There is something about Paris at night that is unforgettable and truly mesmerizing and by the end of the tour, I was so happy we decided on this one.

Chris was our driver and he picked us up promptly at 9:30pm. When you book a 2 hour tour, Cedric’s Paris will give you a complimentary additional 1/2 hour or a bottle of champagne. We decided to go with the extra time and brought along 2 bottles of our own champagne. He mapped out a personalized itinerary based on what we told him we wanted to see and it was perfect in every way. When you go to Paris you visually see these iconic monuments and grand buildings and while you are in awe – do you know the background history of what you are seeing? More than likely – No. Chris was full of knowledge and besides the incredible views, we learned so much about the city.


What I loved most about this tour was that it was perfect for someone who have never been to Paris AND the person who has been multiple times. All of the guides are born and raised Parisians and so they are very passionate at showing and teaching you all about their city. They know this city like the back of their hand and when you get dropped off at the end of the night – you will not be disappointed. This was the absolute BEST tour I have ever done in Paris and cannot recommend it enough.

Click HERE to check out all of the tours they offer and HERE to check out their cars.

If you book with them, let them know Shareen from Pearls & Paris sent you!

*Just a sidetone: This post isn’t sponsored nor do I or you get a discount if you book and say I sent you lol I just like companies to know when I post about my experience with them.

Books wash away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

This is one of my favorite quotes to describe why I have such a love for books and discovering new places where I can go to get lost in-between pages. When the Indigo team reached out to me, to see if I was interested in partnering for their new (& first!) location in the US, I was really intrigued to see what their company was all about. After checking out their site, I couldn’t have said YES to this opportunity quick enough. A new bookstore?! Yes – but they are so much more than that.

Launched in Canada in 1997, Indigo is the world’s first cultural department store—a physical and digital place inspired by, and led with, books, ideas, beautifully designed lifestyle & gifting products, and the creative people who help make it happen.

Indigo is the place to go to when you want to be inspired, unwind, and unplug

Stepping into their new store at the Mall at Short Hills I was immediately drawn in. First by how large the store is but then by how everything is coordinated into separate shops/sections that still intertwine your love for books as you walk through each one. As you go through each section, there is literally something for EVERYONE.

BookShop: As soon as you walk in the store you are surrounded by books of all genres! Indigo’s expansive selection and curation of books connects customers to authors and ideas—past and present—who inspire their reading life.

Home Beautiful: This was one of my favorite sections in the store. You can find anything from decorative pillows, baskets, candles and coffee table books – just to name a few.

Joy of the Table: Head to this section if you are looking for cook books, dinner & tableware, cutting boards, host gifts or if you need a little inspo on table decor and how to bring it all together.

A Room of Her Own: This section offers a selection of books on fashion and timeless style, fashion accessories, totes, journals, jewelry, candles and literature.

The Paper Shop: Cards, Journals, Notebooks, Home Office accessories – name it, this section has it.

IndigoKIDS: Being a mom, this section was a total highlight for me. Endless rows of children’s books, the most current & popular toys, a reading section, an activity section and so much more. I love when stores allow your children to be just that when shopping.

IndigoBABY: This is the premiere destination for beautiful, consciously created baby essentials and irresistible baby gifts. The essential books for Baby’s First Library, eco-friendly nursery necessities, silver keepsakes, cuddly stuffed animals, the most adorable onesies and stylish accessories for new parents.

The Wellness Shop: [Nourish. Sleep. Mindful Meditation] There is something inspiring and supportive for every age and stage of the journey in this section. From fitness gear to energy- balancing crystals to plush robes and self care books.

They also have a section dedicated to magazines, games, thoughtful gift ideas, and teas & sweets.

Indigo is one those stores where you can literally spend hours browsing and have a long list of items you just MUST HAVE. They also were in the process of opening up a cafe within the store which I think will be a huge hit with the customers and locals. I can totally see myself hanging there and working on my laptop. They also host a lot of events in store, like storytime and book signings. I also have to note that all of the staff were beyond helpful and super nice. I think customer service plays a big role in how consumers see a brand, and they are represented so well in that store!

If you are in the tri-state area, make sure you head to the Mall at Short Hills to check out Indigo. Click HERE for more information on the events taking place Grand Opening weekend [Oct 27 + 28]

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Indigo, but as always, all opinions are my own.

Mid August I had the pleasure of visiting Walt Disney World and staying at an incredible 2 bedroom cabin at the Cooper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge all thanks to Disney Vacation Club. Disney Vacation Club is a flexible vacation-ownership program that helps families enjoy the magic of Disney. Disney Vacation Club Members are able to choose from among a variety of exciting vacation destinations, including a stay at any 14 Disney Vacation Club Resorts or one of thousands of other vacation options in destinations around the world.

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I don’t think any amount of words or pictures can do justice for just how incredible these cabins are… but I’ll try. Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, a Disney Vacation Club Resort, has 26 unique 2-Bedroom/2-bathroom waterfront Cascade Cabins. These private, luxurious quarters can sleep up to 8 guests. In addition to a washer and dryer and a fully equipped, open-style kitchen, each Cabin features a double-sided stone-hearth fireplace and screened-in wraparound porch with a built-in hot tub. Guys – I want to relocate and move into one permanently! They are so beautiful and literally have everything your family will need during your Disney vacation. One of my favorite amenities had to be the screened in wraparound porch. We were able to catch the fireworks display from Magic Kingdom while sitting out there with the accompanying music. The cabins are truly pure Disney Magic. Here’s a few pictures of the Cooper Creek Cabins:

Click HERE to check out my full Cabin Tour video!

Over the next few days we got to experience Disney as a Disney Vacation Club Member and it truly was such an incredible experience. I never realized all of the perks, offerings and events just for DVC members.

Day 1: We had a smooth & easy check in. I have never been to the Wilderness Lodge before and the main building is absolutely beautiful. We were able to settle in our room and relax before meeting for a group dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe with the DVC team. The food was absolutely fantastic … we enjoyed it so much that my family decided to have dinner here again the last night! After dinner we headed back to our room for a good nights rest before the fun started for Day 2!

Day 2: We started our day with room service for breakfast and then the boys headed to Animal Kingdom. As for me – I made my way to Salon by the Springs where Maria, a fellow puertorriqueña, gave me the most incredible pedicure. This was not just any regular pedicure, it was truly an experience. I’m talking essential oils, a foot mask, heating powder, warm towel wrap and a wonderful massage. Guys – make an appointment your next time visiting Disney World and thank me later! Later in the afternoon we headed to the Reunion Station, which is a new space at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge that was created especially for Disney Vacation Club Members and their special guests. You can head here to unwind, dine and participate in an array of activities. One of the activities offered, that we got to take part of, was New World Wine 101.  This class was fantastic and would add a little pixie dust to any DVC member vacation. We then got to tour the Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs. The 3 bedroom Treehouse stand on stilts 10 feet off the ground and are surrounded by a wooded area – perfect for a large group vacation. That evening the group joined our families at my favorite park: EPCOT! for dinner in Japan. This wasn’t just any night in Epcot though. This was Moonlight Magic – an exciting after hours celebration complimentary for Disney Vacation Club members & their guests. Basically you get to stay at the park after it closes and there will be minimal wait times at attractions along with complimentary food and drinks and unique character meet-and-greet opportunities. Located in Epcot is also the Disney Vacation Club Member Lounge which is a complimentary space for members to enjoy while visiting.

Day 3: Victor woke up with a fever this day so while him & Ryan relaxed and rested in the cabin, I met up with the group to do Painting with a View and then tour some other really amazing DVC properties. I think the Painting with a View activity is a fantastic perk for members. Not only was it fun but the view at Top of the World Lounge, where the class is held, was unmatched! The Grand Villa at Bay Lake Tower has to be one of favorite properties we got to see. I love spaces where a big group can stay yet not feel crowded. It was very homey and had spectacular views. The bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian are what dreams are made of. I have a new bucket list of places to stay at during my next Disney World vacations. The one MUST on our list was to experience Toy Story Land. Victor had been talking about it since the commercials started and unfortunately it was a bust! I met my husband there but Victor’s fever came back and he was just out of it – mix that with the heat and there was just no way we could stay an explore. We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon and evening at the cabin. I did sneak out for a little around 8pm to meet the group for the Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace at Magic Kingdom. Since I was solo, I took advantage and somehow worked my way through the crowd to be dead center for the Happily Ever After Show. I wasn’t able to catch this show when I was at Magic Kingdom a few months prior so this was a must for me and guys….. it was EVERYTHING!!!! I am a little embarrassed to admit this but I got emotional more than once while watching it – I mean full on tears! LOL It was just so magical and if you haven’t experienced it in person, make it a priority during your next visit.

We were so sad to leave the cabin and make our way to the airport. I cannot recommend Copper Creek Villas & Cabins enough. The cabin was the most amazing accommodation I’ve had while vacationing and am looking forward to booking a reservation at some of the other fantastic properties we had the chance to tour.

A huge thank you to DVC & Cooper Creek Villas & Cabins for such a wonderful opportunity.

This post is in collaboration with Disney Vacation Club. As always, all opinions are my own.

Ireland – The Emerald Isle

Prior to visiting Ireland, all I knew about it was that it is very, very green and there are a lot of sheep. While doing research about what we would do while there, I discovered that Ireland has so much to offer and it got me pumped for my very first visit with my family.

Ireland, Dublin specifically, is a 6 hour plane ride from the NJ/NYC area and that is where we decided to make our home base for the next few days. We spent 3 nights/4 days exploring the city of Dublin as well as venturing out to the countryside and Northern Ireland. To be completely honest, Ireland was never on my list of places I wanted to visit, but my husband had his eye on it for a while and I am SO happy we finally made the trip there.

Just a side note: Our itinerary might sound a little aggressive for some people, especially if traveling with younger kids, with such a short amount of time but for our family I knew it would work.

Where to stay?

When you don’t have too much time in a city, location is KEY! My one big issue with Dublin was how expensive accommodations are. Most decent, non hostels, in the heart of the city will easily cost you $300+ per night when approaching peak season. I personally prefer rentals when traveling because they provide more room for my toddler and always end up being more cost effective. We found the most PERFECT rental and I couldn’t have been more happy with our choice. Dublin City Condo is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment with full kitchen, washer/dryer and balcony. It was in a great location too – 1 minute to the nearest grocery store, 2 minutes to a Starbucks and in walking distance to pubs, restaurants, shopping and most major tourist attractions. Best of all – it was a lot more affordable and had way more space than any other hotel we could have booked.

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Click HERE to view our rental.

 Day 1:

We landed in Dublin at about 6am but by the time we went through customs, grabbed our luggage and made it to our rental – it was almost 9am. We were exhausted, so we took a quick nap and then headed out to explore. Prior to heading to Dublin, I scored a great deal on Groupon for a 1 day Adult Dublin Pass – normally priced at 59€ (abt $69) for only 40€ (abt $47) so picked up 3 of them as I was traveling with my husband & mother – Victor is still free at most attractions! If you are not familiar with the Dublin Pass, it’s basically a sightseeing card that includes a ton of the top places to visit. Even though we had a late start to the day, we were determined to make the most of our pass. These are all the things we were able to do/check out on our first day:

-Hop on Hop Off Bus

-Dublin Castle

-St. Patricks Cathedral

-Teelings Distillery

-Guinness Storefront

I would say my highlights were St. Patricks Cathedral and Teelings. I’m not religious but I love visiting churches while in a new city, mainly because many have a lot of history behind them and architectural wise are simply stunning. Teelings was also a big surprise to me because I feel like people don’t talk about it as much as Guinness or Jameson. It was my favorite of the 3 – it is much more intimate in the sense that the people who work there seemed to genuinely LOVE their job and telling you the history behind the distillery and overall just more personal. The tasting room was great & parents, it’s kid friendly so absolutely don’t miss doing a tour when you are in town.

 Day 2: 

I knew I couldn’t visit Ireland and not make my way to the Cliffs of Moher. Usually, I have no problem just renting a car and driving while on vacation, but we decided that ultimately the best thing to do for this trip was to book tours. Doing this allowed us to see more in such a short amount of time. While that may not be ideal for everyone – it ended up being the perfect decision for us. I booked the Cliffs of Moher tour with Irish Day Tours that included a visit to Doolin, The Burren and Galway City. The tour was about 12 hours long but we never felt rushed, except for the short stop in Galway. The drive was super serene and scenic with lush greenery going on for what seemed like forever. I can’t really properly put into words what it feels like when you get to the top of the cliff and are finally able to just take that view in. It’s one of those things that in pictures it’s amazing BUT in person… you are left speechless. I think at that moment, I officially fell in love with Ireland. Each stop left a big impression on me and I am looking forward to the day I get to return to Ireland to Glamp in Doolin and spend a few days exploring Galway.


Day 3: 

On this day, we got to visit Belfast, the Giants Causeway and Carrick A Rede Bridge with Wild Rover Tours, which also was about a 12 hour tour. Sidenote: I’m pretty sure Wild Rover is the only operator in Dublin that offers something that includes all 3 of these in one day. While in Belfast, we took a 1 hour Black Taxi Tour and I now totally understand why they are so highly rated. I am very fascinated about history in general but visiting Belfast makes you open your eyes to current day issues and I honestly was so shocked to learn about how separated by religion/national communities they still are. The art work on Shankill and Falls Rd show two complete different ideologies. My top highlight from that day would have to be seeing my son cross the Carrick A Rede Bridge. At only 2 years old, he is so brave, because after crossing once – my knees were shaking but it was worth EVERY STEP. That evening me & Ryan stepped out solo for some adult fun. The bar area around Temple Bar was a little more rowdy than I could deal with after a super long day, so thankfully we found this really awesome spot called Mulligan & Haines. I highly recommend this spot for drinks and good music.

Day 4:

Today was our last day in Dublin.  Since we would be catching a flight to our next destination later in the evening, we decided to sleep in a bit and then head to the Jameson Distillery for a drink and then catch lunch at The Brazen Head, which is Ireland’s oldest pub, dating back to 1198. The Brazen Head was super busy but was worth the wait for a table. We got a table at the back bar area and stepping in that room you are instantly transformed to a past era. There is something really cool about having a pint of Guinness in the oldest pub in Ireland, so I would say this is one of those stops you have to make when in Dublin. The food was also really good!

One of the questions I got most from people after our trip was regarding safety while at some of our stops – in particular, the Cliffs and walking across the bridge. Victor is your typical toddler boy. He is full of energy and is very curious. We discussed before leaving for our trip how we would make certain stops work. When we got to the part of the cliffs that were fully open, my husband held him. As you can see from the photos above, the only shot I got of him there was behind a secure wall and in front of a castle. To me personally, his safety is worth more than a cool shot. If not careful, it can be very dangerous as it is fully open. I would not recommend letting a small child walk/run around this area by themselves. As far as the bridge – it’s actually very secure and I did a lot of research about small children walking across it before deciding we would let him. We knew that when we made it to the bridge, if he expressed that he did not want to go (my son is very vocal about not doing certain things) one of us would stay back with him but he was so brave and crossed it, holding my husbands hand, with no issue. This bridge is also much shorter than it appears in photos. Getting to the bridge was actually way more work than we anticipated but was totally worth it.

Ireland exceeded my expectations. It’s such a gorgeous country and for the parents that follow me – it’s super doable with kids. You know your children better than anyone else, so just plan accordingly  and go at their pace. As always – if you have any questions on my recap or maybe something I didn’t cover, leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

Walt Disney World…. The Most Magical Place on Earth!

While I love meeting with characters, going on rides and watching the shows – eating and drinking my way around the Walt Disney World parks is one of my absolute favorite things ever.

Here are 12 photos that will make you want to eat & drink your way around Disney World!

  1. Is there any way to start off this list other than with the infamous Dole Whip? One taste of this delightfully smooth pineapple flavored soft serve and you will be hooked! You can find the Dole Whip at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs and a few of the Disney Resorts. IMG_9956

PC: @ohyeahdisney

2. Another delicious classic that can be found at all the parks has to be the Mickey pretzel!IMG_9715

PC: @stickaforkinme

3. LeFou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern is a frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow and topped with passion fruit foam… some people think it’s even better than the Dole Whip on those hot Disney days. Head on over to Magic Kingdom to try this one out.IMG_9721

PC: @readerlygeek 

4. Churros need no explanation! With a side of caramel dipping sauce, these are sure to be a family favorite when visiting the Mexican Pavilion in Epcot. IMG_9717

PC: @disneyhungry

5. Calling all Sake lovers! This Violet Sake is not to be missed at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot. It’s the perfect combo of sake, purple pear and lime juice. IMG_9955

PC: @jan_eats210

6. Pulled. Pork. Cheese. Fries. — head on over to Animal Kingdoms Flame Tree BBQ to dig into these!

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PC: @disneyhungry

7. Everyday can be Sunday Brunch with this insane Bloody Mary from Paddlefish at Disney Springs. It features King Crab, Jumbo Shrimp and Candied Bacon! IMG_9722

PC: @disney_foodie_

8. NUTELLA…. do I need to say more? These Nutella Stuffed Beignets are what dreams are made of. Head on over to  France while in Epcot to taste this deliciousness. IMG_9714

PC: @disneyhungry

9. The Night Blossom from Animal Kingdom’s Pongu Pongu is insanely popular…and pretty to look at. It’s a mixture of limeade with apple and desert pear  flavors topped with passion fruit boba balls. IMG_9713

PC: @disneyhungry

10. We all know that when at Disney World, you are constantly on the go. That is why I love that they have quick service locations for many of the restaurants. This honey chicken from Yak and Yeti on the go looks delicious!IMG_9719

PC: @kingdommagic

11. Macarons and a Slushy cocktail always sound good to me but they are even better when they are from the France Pavilion in Epcot. This is the Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette and La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy.IMG_9712

PC: @thesassymom82

12. The Mickey Kitchen Sink Sundae! This is sure to be a fan favorite amongst those young and old. This can be found at both the Plaza/Main Street Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and at Beaches and Cream in Disney’s Beach Club Resort. It consist of a scoop each of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry then topped with hot fudge, strawberry, and caramel. Finally it is covered in whipped cream, chocolate and peanut butter chips, and cherries. Mickey-Kitchen-Sink-Sundae-600x618

PC: @disneyfoodblog

Now, I want to hear from YOU! What are your favorite treats from Disney World?