You know the scene in Legally Blonde, where Elle is just beside herself when she arrived at Harvard, only to find Warner engaged to the preppy brunette with basic (or lack thereof) style? You know the one. So what is a girl to do? Elle hopped in her bougie convertible and whirled into a nail salon. She sat down, cried, and found immediate comfort in the seat of the salon. There is a great sense of relief in the experience, and I know it all too well.
Ph7 was my nail destination for the summer. Nestled on Grand Street, I found it rather convenient to stop by when I was in need of nail attention. A ten minute walk from the Bedford Avenue L stop, Ph7 is an easy and lovely destination for nail solace.
I am all for pampering, and I think I am pretty good at it. For realz. For those who struggle with constant business, over- working and anxiety, treatments that practically force self-care, can give you rest. There is literally only so much you can do in the pedicure seat, choose to enjoy your treatments. Rest up, buttercup and let yourself be taken care of.
I usually go for a basic pedi, and gel manicure at Ph7. Occasionally followed by a 15 minute massage, because why not. My visit this week included nail art and I am thrilled with the result! Not to mention, it was genuinely affordable for a New York nail salon. I am impressed with the consistent service at Ph7, and I appreciate their reasonable prices for a natural salon.
Ph7, a Williamsburg nail salon. Non-toxic, chic and efficient. Walk-ins are welcome, you can book online or give them a call. Check them out!
I am relaunching Hanny Bee as a platform to share the best destinations and travel experiences. Skincare rituals that are non toxic, cruelty free and derived from natural ingredients. Beauty products that are created to enhance your natural features, by the use of the purest ingredients. Hanny Bee’s Lifestyle content will feature interior design, style and serendipitous accounts of daily life.
I will share the best and wildest of travel adventures on Hanny Bee. I will discover and share the dreamiest boutique hotels, cafes, and local boutiques globally. In addition to sharing the chic and picturesque, I will not shy from rehashing the true adventures that come with living a global lifestyle. Furthermore, I will share the best and worst destinations for dining with dietary restrictions- specifically avoiding gluten. I will provide you with gluten free restaurant recs for serious days. Traveling healthy, is feasible, trust me.
I am elated to welcome Wellness to Hanny Bee!! Wellness is a big part of my life and I look forward to sharing what I have learned thus far, and what I will soon explore. My health journey plays a large role in my affection for wellness, and I will happily share stories of my health as we more forward. I believe I am continually healing and growing, and I invite you to join me on this endeavor. More importantly, I hope that this content will provide you with an array of options for clean skincare, alternative medicine and other wellness advice to aid your lifestyle. I plan to feature the best makers in the green beauty industry- we are sure to find you some options. Prepare for your well being to be elevated, it’s time.
The lifestyle segment of Hanny Bee will hold all interior inspiration, style posts and weekly tid bits. It will be home to many lovely things and will surely transform over time.
I am so excited to continue this journey with y’all!
When: Twice a week, before bedtime. As directed, I either mix the powder with a small amount of warm water for a deep exfoliating treatment or I mix it with raw honey for a hydrating masque. I find that the results are more prominent when mixing the exfoliating powder with water and scrubbing away for a glowy complexion!
Why: Our skin deserves it. It also needs it. But really, we live in a very dirty world and nastiness that floats around from the oil and germs on our hands, to poor air quality is bound to affect our complexion. Exfoliating removes dirt and excess oil, prevents breakouts and rejuvenates skin. This scrub is my current favorite because I love how soft my skin feels following the treatment, and it genuinely gives my skin a glow.
Your post post-exfoliating treatment should be just as as important- I follow with a wash, eye balm, One Love’s multi-use balm blended with their glow-inducing serum
When: Every day, twice a day, after I complete my skincare routine
Why: The Jade Roller has been used in ancient Chinese rituals for a looong while, which of course cements my affection for this tool- as Chinese medicine has transformed many ailments and woes of my health.
Benefits include: lymphatic drainage, stimulating circulation, and refreshing the elasticity of skin. The jade roller does not absorb what you put on your face, it pushes your serums deeper into your skin. I roll out my face, neck and chest for the full effect. I love how my skinglows and how it feels. Here is the kicker: store it in the f r e e z e r to enhance the de-puffing attributes of the roller. I store my Jade roller in the freezer and it makes my rolling routine a continually pampering experience.
When: Once daily, in the AM (It is the first step of makeup routine)
Why: I wear SPF every day, regardless of the season. My favorite option, is Juice Beauty’s CC cream. I use it as a foundation, because I go for a youthful and minimal aesthetic for beauty. I like my makeup to naturally enhance the little fair skinned face that God gave me, and I save bolder routines for parties and events. SPF is an important ritual for our skincare and beauty routines, as it protects from the sun. Although I have a young face, I don’t want over-tanned, sun damaged, wrinkled skin as the years go on. It’s not cute.
I often use the CC Cream because it evens my complexion and protects my fair skin. However, I often opt for no make up in the summer and a fantastic natural SPF is COOLA’s organic sunscreen in matte cucumber. An alternative, is the highly recommended- though I have yet to try- NYC based EIR’s surf mud stick. Their products are built for the sun-active individuals but I am going to invest in some products to simply protect my skin during and post long days of sun exposure.
When: avec some light make up, morning or evening- depending on the day or occasion!
Why: Because clean beauty glory. Maya Chia is a Charleston based natural skincare brand, and I am a massive fan. I love a natural glow, and this product can be used minimally- or in plenty if you hope to evolve into a bronzed goddess. Either works for me!
Ask for the drink that tastes like green juice. I am serious! I guarantee they will know what you are referencing. More formally, the cocktail is called “Too Good For You” and it will be the best treat of your summer happy hour experiences.
I have been dying to visit “While We Were Young,” in the West Village, and I got a chance to park my bum in their beautiful space for drinks last week. I sauntered up to WWWY only to gawk like a little girl at her first experience in a luxury department store. I think you catch my vibe. The space is even better in person than it is from the copious quantities of instagram posts and “look where I am” insta stories. Think pink. Floral. Adorable. Everything the girliest girl could dream up in a restaurant. The feminine aesthetic is topped with a tasteful open floor plan with floor to ceiling windows that fill the restaurant with natural light and soft city noises.
Due to our early happy hour, the space was near empty when we arrived. Of course not entirely, because a place so perfect is bound to have admirers at odd hours. The (sort of studly) owner of the hip restaurant was seated by the window being modern with his Macbook, some girlfriends were chatting by the neon sign, and two couples were enjoying the restaurant as well. We placed ourselves at the bar facing the street, for people watching purposes (obviously) and it was a splendid decision. Shortly after my arrival, an adorable waiter bopped over to take our orders. I wanted everything! I pulled the, “What do you recommend?” to our darling waiter, and he pointed me straight to the magic green juice with a buzz. He described it as “tasting like a green juice.” I was hooked at the notion of such a concoction.
‘Twas a success! Damn did it taste like a green juice out of a romantic comedy. Not something far too earthy and textured, but smooth and bursting with flavor. In this case a tiny bit of alcoholic flavor but ever so subtle. The drink was beautiful, tasty and effective. IE that buzz made me order two and I was slap happy by the time I departed. Honestly, for the asking price of their cocktails, I would sure hope they deliver in taste. The cocktails certainly did.
I am elated to report that this cute as ever spot, lives up to the fantasy. Make this your next happy hour destination and you will not be disappointed.
We are en route from Firenze to Cinque Terre for a quick two day jaunt. You know the place- it’s probably what you envision when you hear someone chatting about the coast of Italy. It’s an incredibly picturesque little town composed of five wee villages replete with stunning views and landscapes. Strangely, though, it’s also home to some of the world’s ugliest Airbnb’s. Perhaps in the high season there are some nicer options, but at this time of year it was slim pickings for “Mern” and me (Welcome Marie-Nicole- also known as Mern, French American, Sassafrass glam babe, and my closest friend abroad in Firenze!! Xoxxoo muah)! One would think that an infamous location like Cinque Terre would have a plethora of boutique hotel and summer-flats available. Unfortunately, however, all the lodging options we found were over-priced and full of old school euro décor – not exactly ideal.
It’s a lovely Saturday and we are heading towards Riomaggiore by train! Despite Cinque Terre’s proximity to Firenze, the journey to Cinque Terre does require one train change after departing from the central train station in Firenze. We booked our Airbnb & transport last night, with the knowledge that it might be a bit chilly and rainy during our visit. Mind you, we are heading to a location that’s known for its long hikes and views from the water. All of the popular activities are entirely outdoors. But hey, we are going!!
The weekend is already shaping up to be an adventure. I slept through an hour of alarms. Leaving myself with less than thirty minutes to get ready for the day, pack, eat breakfast, etc. It was also in my morning schedule to bathe, so I’m sporting dirty hair and no make-up. I was late to the train station and we had to hustle onboard, sweating and grumpy. We finally find seats only to hear an announcement in Italian telling us that the train is out of service and to move to an alternative train. My fellow travelers and I competitively scramble to find a good seat with their travel buddy of choice, on our new train. The flurry of activity made for an exciting ten minutes of havoc to say the least, especially considering the fact that I’m also carrying two obnoxious tote bags. As we are shuffling through the train, desperately searching for seats, I am thinking for the hundredth time that I need to invest in a sleek Lululemon backpack for shenanigans like this. Somehow we found seats near, but not next to, each other and the journey finally began.
Have I mentioned that nothing really works in Italy? No?? Perhaps I can enlighten you. For instance, yesterday when I was moving to my new abode it took us 45 minutes to get a cab. One does not “hail a cab,” here in Firenze- you have to find a phone and make some calls. There are three taxi companies, no Uber, and a country full of people that have no sense of urgency. Added together this makes it nearly impossible for a taxi to be consistent. I do not find myself too flustered by this lag in progression, but it is something to be aware of. As in, what if there’s a flight to catch? You might want to give yourself more time than necessary. Additionally, try to compose yourself. Adapt. Get over it. It’s a different place where things simply run differently (or not at all, like the train we had to vacate).
Back to the weekend ahead- we are going to have fun! I’ve got a bag of snacks (including gluten free bread) so I feel aptly prepared. However, I also have some sort of sinus pressure, ear pain, running nose situation happening right now, so I’ve got to go find some tissues (aka toilet paper). Classic. Oh, and this just in! Mern just passed me her phone to show me the expected weather for Cinque Terre today. The little screen of her iPhone 5 gleams: “Sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit, with gray skies and a solid chance of rain.” I am telling you, it’s always an adventure. Chat later ya boobs.
One Week Later
It’s been roughly a week since our return from Cinque Terre, and I am still in awe. Unfortunately, not the good sort of awe that leads to daydreaming and future trip planning- quite the opposite, actually. Let me explain: Cinque Terre can be best explained as hype.
According to Urban Dictionary, hype is “A fad. A clever marketing strategy which a product is advertised as the thing everyone must have, to the point where people begin to feel they need to consume it.”
My gal pal and I were greatly disappointed with the entirety of Cinque Terre. We arrived on a gray day with high hopes for a lovely weekend. We managed to find affordable accommodations with Airbnb in Riomaggiore, and our host was very sweet and hospitable. After we arrived and took a quick tour of our little flat, we promptly ventured out for sustenance. With approximately five restaurants in the town of Riomaggiore, we settled on the first one (I cannot recall the name, probably because I neither felt the need to recommend it, nor store it for later dissection on Yelp). The waiter cautioned that there may be cross-contamination, but thankfully I was left unscathed. My fish was fabulous, and the side of veggies was so-so. The day was soon dampened by rain… as was our weekend. Jokes, jokes! We made it an adventure.
We really did enjoy ourselves! We laughed, found nutella, and enjoyed being bloated due to our respective digestive issues. Yet, I must say, the gray skies and dewy weather did not help the looks of the decrepit architecture of Cinque Terre. Honestly, it resembled a Eastern European slum. The biggest disappointment was the lack of culture. To start, Cinque Terre is compiled entirely of tourists. I know we are visiting as well, but I did not spy one local roaming the town. The magic of Cinque Terre has been entirely stripped by the override of tourism. It goes beyond “a tourist town,” and I can say that confidently as I am currently living in Florence. It was like Disney world for adults- nothing more than an attraction (lines and bad food included). Isn’t this supposed to be Italy? It felt like a bad trip to Epcot.
On our second day the sun came out, so we set out to visit three of the five towns that make up Cinque Terre. We began the morning with Nutella toast, a recipe for success, and soon after caught the ferry to Monterosso; the furthest town from Riomaggiore. This venture allowed us to see the five towns from the sea, and let me tell you- perspective is everything. Riomaggiore looked quite lovely from the water, but was questionable when viewed up close. Sorry ‘bout it.
Starting our morning off in Monterosso was quite nice. We hopped off the ferry and right back into the sea! We cleverly changed into our suits, on the pebbly beach and dipped in the water for a morning swim. Apparently jellyfish have been a bit wild in Cinque Terre this season, so I was a little frightened. Nonetheless, this was the best part of the trip. The little beach was not overrun with tourists, so the experience was restorative. After lunch, we discovered the larger beach of Monterosso, along with the striped beach umbrella’s of your dreams. Monterosso really is much bigger than the other towns, and the images and blogs do not do its size justice.
We then pranced to Vernazza, which was strange and not as charming as Monterroso. We scooted away from the crowds to find an aperitivo on top of a cliff with a breathtaking view (the local vino bianco of Cinque, was actually quite lovely).
While the land and sea of the area are beautiful- truly stunning- Cinque Terre is best known for its towns, which have been ransacked by the masses and stripped of their appeal. Once upon a time- in the seventies- Cinque Terre was a hidden gem. A lustrous, beaming, secret, spot for holiday. And I apologize for letting you down, but in 2016 Cinque Terre was nothing more than a beautiful disappointment.
Oddly enough, it remains immensely picturesque when viewed through a lens- especially with solid editing skills. So here is a little mind F for you. Enjoy these beautiful, idyllic pictures of a sad, soulless place called Cinque Terre. Xo H baby
Photos via iphone. Taken by myself (Hannah Rice,) or not if I am pictured.
My affection for the international city of London, is rapidly growing. I adore becoming attached to a place. It motivates me to better understand the culture, curiously explore and get to know amazing people. Whenever I am visiting a new or familiar city, I ask myself, Could I live here? Often the mental response, is no. ( ’cause I am so dern picky) But a few spots have creeped into my heart, and then magnetically pull me to plan my next visit. London happens to have crawled into my life and does not want to leave. It wants me to go go go to London and stay stay stay. Until I can plan to move my booty to London, I will prance around and discover the best nooks, cocktails and boutiques! Enjoy this little weekend guide to London for the chic, health conscious and occasionally trendy traveler. Xo
*All restaurants are celiac/gluten free friendly.*
P.s. I will be sharing more about my current whereabouts & life happenings soon !! Keep those eyes peeled because my laptop is fixed and I am ready to write! Meow Meow xoxoxo
When to go: Stop by for a light breakfast, coffee rest (limited seating) or an in-between snack
What it is: The cafe at the uber chic, members-only wellness center called Bodyism. With the warm & energetic atmosphere, you will feel right at home. It is difficult to tear yourself from the hot trainers & positive energy of Bodyism, but you must keep on keepin’ on! I mean the staff and guests are seriously good looking and the food is so tasty and friendly for my people (celiac people) !!
Must try: Matcha latte with RICE milk (for a sweet & smooth addition to the earthiness that is matcha), as well as the gluten free/paleo bread
Celiac Awareness: Nearly everything (if not everything), is gluten free friendly. Fast & yummy nibbles that make you feel happy happy healthy. Bonus points that the team at Bodyism cares about the ingredients of their products as well as dietary restrictions !!
Where: 222 – 224 Westbourne Grove, London, W11 2RH
When to go: Literally any meal you could ever hope for… but I would say an indulgent lunch or dinner would suffice. However, one must plan ahead of time and book in advance. TRY to book a table in the garden !!
What it is: Incredibly chic and wildly delish. I usually avoid large menus, but I genuinely feel that the variety of options at the Ivy Chelsea does not hinder the quality and taste of the dishes.
Must try: An anytime cocktail (IE breakfast, lunch or dinner. Go wild.) I had the Six Bells Tea Cup (served in a china cup and served with a refill) & Sarah sipped on the Lavender Lady. We both agreed these cocktails just might be the best in London…
Celiac Awareness: They were very accommodating at the Ivy Chelsea, and helpful as I made my lunch choices. A+ friends !
When to go: Early lunch. This little spot gets mad busy during lunchtime. Either go at an off time to pick up some grub, or allow time for a short wait.
What it is: Where does one even start? My sister-friend Blaire, introduced me to Ottolenghi. She is a big fan of his cookbooks, so these dishes are assimilated into our kitchen-culture in Charleston. (love you bb Blaire !! ) This Notting Hill gem gives you a little taste of Yotam Ottolenghi & his team’s extensive culinary talent. Each bite contains exuberant flavor that somehow does not overwhelm the senses. I am not a spicy girl, and I really appreciate intense flavor that is not painful for my tongue and/or tummy! So go. ASAP.
Must try: Grab a few things! (Veggies, fish, etc… your options will be equally mouthwatering) Have them toss your goodies in a take away bag and you can make your way to a park for a moment of rest with a yummy lunch.
Celiac Awareness: Most of the food is gluten free and there were several sweet options friendly for my people during this recent visit. Where: 63 Ledbury Road, London, W11 2AD
When to go: I was not enamored with the brunch, and prefer the full lunch menu. I am hoping to return soon and investigate the dinner situation. Bookings are available, however we did not book in advance and happily sat at the bar.
What it is: Healthy & upscale. The clientele all appear to bloggers with a mass of followers; given their indoor sunnies and decked out ensembles.
Must try: One of their seasonal dishes.
Celiac Awareness: Everything on the menu has some little “*” pointing to the allergens, or lack thereof. However, they were very cautious about my celiacs, as cross-contamination was a possibility. They were very thorough and kind, and thankfully I felt fine after my meal. I was surprised they weren’t more allergen friendly, given their obvious healthy mission.
What it is: Organic farmshop and cafe in Notting Hill. Daylesford has an organic farm and has created a mini bio empire in the UK! The cafe and farmshop in Notting Hill, is just a glimpse of all that Daylesford has to offer.
Must try: Gluten free granola & almond milk !! Being gluten free and lactose intolerant, the luxury and simplicity of cereal and milk as an option at breakfast join is unheard of!
Celiac Awareness: Certain of the ingredients, the staff was accommodating.
Where: 208-212 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London, W11 2RH
Why worth a visit? It’s got a nostalgic air of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, meets the modernity of the women of Notting Hill. Eclectic & tasteful brands can be found along the likes of Trademark, Apiece Apart, Rachel Comey and the list goes on… They’ve got women’s, men’s and children’s clothing along with a selection of trendy cat-lady home accessories.
Where: 188 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2ES