November 26, 2014

The Distillery guest post trip to Chiang Mai!

I’ve loved following along with Erin and Stef’s trip to Bangkok on Instagram, so I was super excited when they asked me to share some of my experiences in Thailand with you guys! My husband is from Bangkok, and we love getting to visit his family there. The whole country is incredible, but since we just returned from the North, I wanted to share some of our favorite things to do in that area and nearby in Chiang Mai. 
Sunday night walking market.

Chiang Mai has it all: natural beauty, amazing food, handmade goods, fun bars, relaxing bed and breakfasts, and the Sunday Night Walking Market. We’ve stayed at the U Hotel Chiang Mai for two years in a row, which is in a perfect location if you plan on shopping the Sunday market.  We like to stay in either the Old City or Nimmanhaemin Road. The Old City is more relaxing and traditional, and Nimmanhaemin Road is where most of the Chiang Mai bars, boutiques, coffee shops, and trendy restaurants are located.

Doi Suthep is a mountain near Chiang Mai with a temple called Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep located on the top. It’s a very traditional place of worship for Buddhists dating back hundreds of years. It’s accessible by van or taxi.

Doi Kham Coffee.

A restaurant in Doi Ang.

About an hour’s drive from Chiang Mai, there’s a Hmong village called Doi Pui where you can find gorgeous handmade Hmong textiles, handbags, and clothing. Something about this vibrant, traditional embroidery just pulls me in – it’s so intricate but has that informal, bohemian look at the same time. I love sourcing Hmong embroidered goods for my shop from the incredibly talented artisans in Doi Pui.

   
 From Chiang Mai, it’s about a 3 hour drive to the part of Thailand where my husband’s grandfather lives. The whole area is pretty mountainous which makes for some magical scenery, and plenty of nausea-inducing, hairpin turns getting there. This September, we went to the hot springs in Fang, which is a huge sulfuric park with a natural geyser.
There’s a really incredible place to stay about 20 miles from Fang called The Royal Agricultural Station in Doi Ang Khang. It’s this little village on the top of a mountain where the government has invested in agricultural research. You can rent a little cabin up there (very, very affordably) and spend your days walking around gardens, orchards, and flowers and eat all your meals at the restaurant where they prepare fresh produce from the grounds. It’s a pretty idyllic experience. Most of the tourists there are Thai people from Bangkok, so you know it’s got to be special. J
Thank you so much for letting me share some of my Thailand memories!


November 25, 2014

Erin's Bangkok highlights.

Well, we've somehow been back for almost two weeks already and the cold snap has jolted us back into reality. I'm trying to think warm and happy thoughts, so what better to help with that than think back to our trip? We will be doing a few more trip posts this week so keep an eye out.
My favorite time of the day. Magic hour. That wonderful time of day when your skin feels tight from the sun, the temperature is cooling off slightly, the shops are opening up, and the mojitos are flowing. It's hands down the highlight of my day, every day. I feel completely relaxed and content and almost nothing could possibly make the situation better.

We stayed for a few nights on Khao San Road, and one night it was eerily quiet, with no stalls set up and we still don't know why!

Many books were read by the pool this time around.

Ugh. The food. Not only the delicious Thai food, but we got to try so many new restaurants like Oskar, which our friend Josh recommended to us. I ordered the salmon and it blew my mind into one thousand pieces.

I don't know how they do it. Not only are the cocktails more refreshing and better tasting than most of the ones I drink at home, but they are always so pretty!

Ohhh man, there is nothing quite like a foot massage after a long day of shopping. 

Speaking of relaxing, I did a lot of that. It was a tad overdue I think.

Although we had a fair amount of rain while we were out there, we made sure to maximize any downtime we could by the pool.

I was definitely guilty of drinking many Changs and cocktails, but I did drink water too! Ha.

One of the highlights for me in Bangkok would have to be the rooftop bars. We went and checked out Above 11 and it did not disappoint! We drank champagne and made plans for our business as we looked out over all of the city.

XO, Erin

November 21, 2014

TGIF!

Whoa, I can't believe we have been back for a week already! It feels like the time has gone by rather quickly considering I have been spending the majority of it sleeping, ha. This time around the jetlag hit me like a ton of bricks and I just can't keep seem to get my sleep schedule back on track. Well, at least wintertime is for hibernating, right?
Here is some pretty inspiration to warm up this chilly day:
These fabulous glittery tights are a must-have for my holiday wardrobe.

How adorable are these copper lights? Good news, you can make your own at home with this DIY!

I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect cheese platter and I believe this may be it.

This week I finally relented and went back to my signature look of black blunt bangs and this photo of the lovely Lea Seydoux was my inspiration. Feels so good to have the fringe back!

Yes. So much yes. Everything about this photo.

Hope you all have a warm & cozy weekend! :)
XO

November 19, 2014

Stef's highlights from Bangkok.


We're baaack! Our apologies again for how silent things have been around these parts as of late. 

Here is a quick highlight reel of our trip with the help of my Instagram photos...

 I know we've mentioned it before, but it is a long journey to get from Winnipeg, Canada to Bangkok, Thailand...

Pretty much the second we landed we celebrated with some beers and tropical cocktails. Yum! This Mai Thai just happened to match my nails perfectly, so I think that's a good sign, right?

We also immediately dove into the books that we had been saving to read poolside! I started with a good ol' classic by Fitzgearld; The Great Gatsby.

Going out for dinner was one of our favorite treats to look forward to at the end of the day and we definitely enjoyed many delicious meals while we were out there. This was taken in a Middle Eastern vegetarian restaurant called Ethos, a favorite of ours! Not only is the food incredible, but the restaurant also has a charming atmosphere and you get to sit on cushions on the floor to eat. Bonus points!

 Umm... excuse me? Little cats taking naps in the street?! Someone pinch me, this is my dream land!

Adorable cacti as far as the eye can see... now if only we were allowed to bring plants home in our suitcases... *sighhh.*

Sleepy traveler. Trying to catch a little shut-eye on my luggage while waiting in between flights.

 Stay tuned for more on our Bangkok trip update tomorrow from Erin!

XO, Stef