8 Everyday Things + Weekend Reading

By Kate Riley November 18, 2017

Weekend hellos! I’m in Thanksgiving prep and gift buying mode this week, the same as many of you! I’m making my grocery shopping list and setting my Thanksgiving table. I also have some gift ideas I’ll be sharing next week.

I wanted to kick it off with 8 things I use every.single.day and absolutely love, these make great gifts for you or someone close to you!


I don’t carry a regular wallet, I carry this iphone wallet and keep my bank and credit cards in it. It also has just enough room for a few punch cards or gift cards. The baggallini crossbody is my go to everyday bag with just enough pockets, for cellphone, makeup, etc. The Mira double walled water bottle stays by my side from morning workouts to afternoon carpool. (Also cheaper than Swell).

This fluted contrast mug I picked up in Copenhagen. I love its design and it feels good in my hand filled with my morning coffee. This coffee vac keeps beans fresh and has a clean modern design so it looks great on my counter. I found the best daily SPF 50 sunscreen, it’s soft and super moisturizing and I’ve used it everyday for over a year. Pricey but WORTH IT. Every other morning I use one of these Peel Pads, they keep my skin glowing all day. I can’t live without POREfessional I apply it several times a day for flawless looking skin.

Favorite links from the week:


The One Room Challenge is always amazing. I especially loved this cozy textured living room makeover.

Six things to remember to tell your house guests.

Furniture retailers who value market share over profits.

Slow cooker Thanksgiving sangria, yum!

Want creamy mashed potatoes? Read this.

I’m a recent convert to brussels sprouts. Here are 15 recipes to consider.

How to win the game of Monopoly, according to math experts.

Interesting: modern day nomads.

7 things to consider before traveling with someone new.

Best inventions of 2017.

Also remember: Arrow Fastener is giving away $1,000 in cash and 100 tools every week until December 17th. Details here!


Hilltop Towns of France

By Kate Riley November 16, 2017

I’ve been busy this week preparing for Thanksgiving, cleaning and organizing in anticipation of a house filled with guests. I started to daydream about my amazing trip to France in September and the enchanting hilltop towns.

My trip took me there in early autumn it was still warm. I stayed in Nice for a few days and from there adventured out on a few day trips, two of them being visits to hilltop towns that many of you recommended. Èze was my first stop (on the road to Monaco) and wow what an incredible view you’ll see on the road there. I was on a small group tour and we stopped here just to take it all in.



Èze as foretold by so many  was absolutely charming. It had a beautiful church and the most magnificent Mediterranean sea views from a botanical garden on top. Everywhere you turn there are vines growing on top of centuries old walls, it’s so charming. I couldn’t help but hum that song from Beauty and the Beast, “Little town, it’s a quiet village, every day, like the one before …”.





One of the benefits from traveling alone on this trip was that I could take my time as I walked the twisted streets, grabbing a coffee, popping into a shop, ducking down alleys, stopping along the way to take pictures or video.

In Èze, I loved the color of the church in the middle of the town, its hue just a hint more yellow than my house back home in California.


It was so fun meandering the crooked cobblestone streets, climbing up hills to the very top to witness the massive views all around.

St. Paul de Vence was similar in its winding cobblestone streets all protected inside walls on top of a hill. It was larger and took several hours to enjoy it all. The most enchanting part is these hilltop towns are like adult mazes, so fun to explore especially when you have no idea what to expect around every new turn.









I made a short video of my walks through these towns, meander the streets with me in these next 2 ½ minutes!