A Lars Girl in Mexico City: Travel Inspired Design and Fashion

Mexico City definitely is at the top of my list of favorite trips. Truly, it is a place of dreams. The gigantic, bustling city is home to almost 9 million residents, and the feel of the city is indescribable. I’m trying to teleport there using fashion and interior design; I’ll let you know if it works!

I visited Mexico City a couple of years ago with friends Nadia Coates of Casa Palomi, Meta Coleman and Chaunte Vaughn. (You can find Chaunte’s work in our print shop here! And some of Meta’s curated home picks here.) We went to visit Abby Low, whose work is also in our print shop! Abby’s book This is Mexico City is full of the color, print, and culture that inspired today’s post.

I am imagining what A Lars Girl would wear if her wardrobe was inspired by Mexico City. And what her home might look like. After getting a feel for some of the amazing sites in our Mexico City guide here, explore the links below for A Lars Girl top picks for fashion and decor.

Mexico City Inspired Fashion

 

Accessories

 

Read more about this amazing place

La Ciudad

Ciudad de México is an ancient city. Long before the land was called Mexico, the Aztec civilization built impressive temples and monuments in the middle of what was then a lake. Due to Spanish imperial efforts, much of the ancient city was destroyed or buried beneath new buildings. Modern renovation projects have done a beautiful job of peeling back the layers, allowing the city to truly shine. Though its past isn’t pretty, a beautiful way of life and a unique design sense has developed literally out of the ruins. Now a modern and very cosmopolitan place, Mexico City is a truly fascinating spot. 

La Mezcla

Old-world European architecture meets older ancient architecture, and all of it fits into an amazing modern place. When I think of Mexican design, I tend to think of folk art and textiles brim with life! Bright colors are used on funky patterns. But when I think of Mexico City, complex stylistic ideas with refined elements come to mind. Once there, you’ll know what I mean. If you’re looking to steal the style, try designing with Old World tastes, then decorate with clean-lined modern elements that allow ornate intricacies to shine. Conversely, try designing in a contemporary, clean design, then add some flair with natural or folk elements. To see this mezcla (mix) work in real life, check out pictures of the Museo de Artes Popular! Its architectural style is stunningly simple art deco, while the works within it are traditional and FUN! 

The residents of this city know how amazing it is, but most are happy to share the place they call home. I became friends with my cabbie and the local barista pretty quickly, and they clued me into the real neighborhood spots. Only true locals know the local spots. So, make some friends and get exploring! While you’re there, or even if you’re just lazing around the house, bring a dash of la Ciudad de Mexico into your life! See our shopping list above and below for clothing items and home decor that we think make the mark.

Mexico City Inspired Interior Design

Artwork

Decor

 

 

New York Cake Topper

New York Cake Topper and Confetti

We love all the components of this cake topper. It really is the essence of New York on a cake! You could also make cupcakes and top each one with a different New York scene.

Materials: 

Instructions:

  1. Print out the templates on heavy-duty white card stock.
  2. Cut out shapes using scissors.
  3. For the cake topper, place a bamboo skewer in the middle of the back side of each NY shape and adhere with hot glue.
  4. Stick each NY shape into the cake and artfully assemble.
  5. Decorate the table with some confetti and your cake and celebrate!

Make sure you snag this book to plan for your next NY trip! Tag us with #larsmakes so we can see all of your New York creations!

Copenhagen city guide

I’ve been wanting to share my favorite Copenhagen tips for years now and I don’t know how it’s taken 9 years to do so. Wait, yes, I do! Consider it one of those “never a tourist in your own city” moments, meaning, I experienced it all, just never wrote it all down in one concise list. Well, thanks for your patience! I’ve received numerous emails over the years asking for my recommendations and I’ve given them out, but I always thought that I needed an extra “oomph” to get it out into the world. That extra oomph was our recent trip to Denmark visiting family and revisiting some of my favorite haunts. Guess what? They still hold up! And they’re amazing.

If you’re planning a trip to Denmark, here’s what you MUST do:

Mexico City Guide

0

Growing up in Southern California, Mexican food was a staple and Spanish was second nature. I had briefly visited Mexico back when you didn’t need a passport, but I’m embarrassed to say that I really didn’t know much about the thriving culture that is Mexico. I mean, I wasn’t hiding under a rock and I knew and had witnessed many aspects, but until you live it and see it at its best, it’s really tough to comprehend how thriving a culture really is.

Abby Clawson Low, a designer whose work I’ve admired for ages, moved to Mexico City a few years ago and documented her adventures (you can check out her Instagram here and here) and I couldn’t help but gawk at every image. She revealed a side to it that I didn’t knew existed. She brought it to life! She recently released a book about it called This is Mexico City and it inspired me to finally make a visit just in time for her book signing. Along with former Mexico City resident and Utah Valley tamale maker expert, Nadia Coates of Casa Palomi, and my good friends Meta Coleman and Chaunte Vaughn, we hit up Mexico City with two babies and lived to tell about it.

I call our experience an “Ode to Barragan” because the focus of our trip was discovering the work of Luis Barragan. I am forever changed!

Here’s what to see, what to eat, and what to do in Mexico City! Lars approved!

Lars’ Must Sees in New York City

1

New YorkI had the opportunity to go to New York last month for work and lucky for me, I got to go back for round two this past weekend! New York is one of my favorite places in the world and I will never pass up an opportunity to explore the big apple. Baby J accompanied me on both trips, and though it slowed my usual pace, there’s nothing sweeter than seeing faces light up once a baby is around. It can melt even the crustiest of hearts (see my story below!). I felt so empowered to find that I could still visit my favorite places with a baby.

You may be thinking: “Brittany, how do you get around New York of all places with a BABY?” Well, thanks to Uber, we were able to navigate the city seamlessly. It can be done! And today I’m giving you a rundown of my favorite shops, restaurants, and sights of New York so you can start planning your own trip. And whether you have a baby, traveling solo, or a whole gang of girls, Uber’s new On-Time Pickups Guarantee is sure to make your trip stress-free.

New York

Our France itinerary

It’s been a few weeks since our trip to France and as we’ve been cooking on all 4 cylinders since, what with the One Room Challenge and all of our holiday content, not to mention some upcoming big projects (stay tuned!), but I’ve now hunkered down to share our itinerary because if you ever get to the chance to plan a trip to France I’d highly recommend so many things that we did. They took my breath away. I mean, look at my face here! That’s the look of pure joy (and it’s all staged because we’re pulled off to the side of the road 😉 )  Because we were there for a wedding, it took us to a part of the country that I’ve always wanted to go to but hadn’t prioritized yet. It was a life-long dream really.

Instead of creating a comprehensive Paris guide, I’m just noting a few bucket list items that may or may not be the Eiffel Tower. You can find those in all tour books. These are worth it, but not mentioned as often. Here we go!

The installations of Chateau Chaumont

LES PIERRES ET LE PRINTEMPSI just got back from the most glorious trip to France (actually sitting in the airport on our last leg now!) for 10 days and I can’t tell you how many miracles happened to make it such a particularly memorable experience. Well, miracles combined with a lot of poor customer service, but that’s par for the course, I suppose. I hope you were able to follow along on Instagram and Instastories because I did a lot of documenting. A lot. But don’t worry, I’ll be more thorough here on the blog. Lucky you 😉

Flower Power festival at chateau ChaumontI wanted to start with one of the most magical experiences of the trip: Chateau Chaumont. We went to France to attend the wedding of Paul’s brother who lives in Denmark and got married to a lovely lady from the Loire region. I had done a ton of research on which chateaux to visit as we’d have a car for the first portion of our trip thanks to our friends at AutoEurope so we planned a road trip for the days prior to the wedding staring out in Brittany and Normandy and then working our way down. I knew we’d have a bit of sight-seeing time around the wedding celebrations, but, like all travel schedules, time is way more limited than you think it’s going to be–gah! The day of the wedding was one such example. We had about two hours to go do something before we had to get ready for the town hall wedding in Onzain. Instead of the chateaux I had researched, I looked on the map and noticed one just across the river–because that’s what happens when you are in chateau-land–chateaux just appear out of nowhere. We popped over and what do you know? There’s a Flower Power Festival. You can imagine my excitement. 

Las Vegas City Guide

Illustrated Downtown Las Vegas City map

I grew up visiting Las Vegas WAY more than I ever wanted to. Being from Southern California, it was always a practical pit stop on our way to other destinations. Admittedly, it’s a welcome sight after miles of thirsty desert, and for a child it’s a fantastical Disneyland of sorts. But you get into walking the strip and realize, “hey wait a minute, there’s something odd about this city of neon lights and magic shows” (alas, it may have something to do with the hundreds of naked girl fliers being passed out by men flicking them in their hands). After an unfortunate experience with my family involving not reserving a hotel for the night and ending up at a trucker motel in North Vegas and finding a surprise in the bathroom (hint: it’s not what a 10 year old should be seeing and no, it was not a dead body), I swore off Sin City. 

However, since moving to Utah it has since become the closest destination with some sort of entertainment component and I LOVE staying in hotels so we’ve been discovering the city more and more and you know what? There is WAY more than meets the eye. I recently met illustrator Abbie Paulhus who introduced me to the lesser-known and totally rad side of Las Vegas and today she’s sharing her favorite spots along with this beautifully illustrated map.

I’m so excited to get to share about this because I’m so passionate about people seeing that there’s more to Vegas than just the strip and “sin city”. Here are my favorite spots in the arts district of Downtown Las Vegas:

Cuba Travel Guide Part 1: logistics

Havana, Cuba travel guideI’ve been giving some sneak peeks away of our trip to Cuba over the past few weeks and it’s been so interesting hearing your reactions. Most are floored that we (Americans) could even go and others have mentioned that you are anxiously awaiting a travel guide because they are planning their trip too. After our experience, there is a lot we were really pleased about and other things we would have done differently.

I’m breaking the guide into two parts. One part for logistics on how to travel to and around Cuba and the other for things to see and do. I don’t normally provide traveling logistics, but because Cuba is still rather unknown to Americans, information was somewhat hard to find.

Let’s dig in.

Cuba coloring pages

Brace yourselves, because I’m going to be talking about our trip to Cuba for awhile! We took a team trip to Cuba two weeks ago, mostly Havana, and a quick trip to Trinidad as well with a special purpose in mind. I’ll be revealing more about our special purpose soon, but I thought I’d start with a few coloring pages. It’s a great time to visit as flights are super cheap. We found ours for $250 each!  I’ll be sharing a travel guide soon so stay tuned.

About 5% of Cubans have Internet and even then it’s on dial-up so it’s slow and shaky. I knew wi-fi would be hard to find, but I wasn’t prepared for such a scarcity. I thought it might be easy to pop into an Internet cafe and tell my family I was alive, but that was not the case. And somehow instead of finding the break relaxing I found it to be a bit unnerving. But, all is well and I’m alive to write about it. #problemsofablogger Instead of Internet while you’re down there, might I suggest printing these out prior to your trip to color as your traveling entertainment. There are three to choose from.

Guide to Provo, Utah

Guide to Provo Utah

This post has been a long time in the making, folks. I’ve been wanting to do a feature on Provo, Utah, where I’ve now lived for three years, but as you know, it takes awhile to feel situated and like you’ve been able to experience a lot in your town. I’m a terrible social planner. But I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for it to come out, so so sit back, it’s time to explore everyone’s top bucket list location, Provo, Utah. AND, good news, while you’re traveling to get here, you can color it in with this handy dandy coloring page, free to download.