Have I Told You Lately…

I can be extremely random, but I want to explain the rationale behind posting this today. (There actually is some, I promise). This past week marked the mid-way point to Valentine’s Day. (Inset eye roll) I know, I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day fan either, but hear me out..

Six months ago,  I was on the search for the perfect gift for Ben. If gift-giving was a contest, he crushed me at Christmas. (A surprise trip to Las Vegas with VIP seats for the Britney Spears show.) We both agreed that we wouldn’t spend any money on Valentine’s Day. We would go out for a nice dinner and exchange cards and/or homemade gifts.

Hours of searching Pinterest, I stumbled across “The Jar“. It was perfect. I decided to adapt it a bit. I loved the idea of writing short little notes that Ben could open everyday for the year. (Okay 365 notes was aggressive, but I set the bar high) I used four different-colors of paper and decided on three categories: 1) Memories 2) Favorite Quotes 3) What I Love About You. When all was said and done, I ended up with about 150 slips of paper containing words that would make Ben smile. Maybe next year I’ll be able to write out 365. I ended up sick with the flu and could barely sit up long enough to give it to him, but Ben loved the jar. It sits on his bedside table and he reads a note every few days before going to bed.

It isn’t Valentine’s Day, but that isn’t really what this post is about. Make a jar for someone you love, or maybe even yourself. I promise you, each note comes with a smile.

TwentyFivePlusFive Spring Family Shoot 2

In other news, I picked up some great (on sale) tops for myself and Ben from J Crew Factory. There is an INCREDIBLE JCrew Factory store about a mile from Ben’s sister’s house in Pittsburgh. They are having a great sale. If you’re a teacher, they let you use your discount on top of sale items. In Connecticut, the next eight weeks can be a bit tricky weather-wise. Some days the temperature can vary by 20 degrees- talk about a challenge when it comes to dressing.

My picks:

For Ben:

The photos above are by Karen Morneau Photography from our family photo session in June, 

TwentyFivePlusFive The Jar

Hotel DaVinci

TwentyFivePlusFive Davinci 2

Finding a place to stay in Paris was challenging. We wanted to stay somewhere convenient to transportation. We also wanted to be close to plenty of dining options. We really didn’t want to spend a lot on a hotel room since we would be spending such little time there. After talking to some friends and doing a little bit of research, we decided to stay in the 6th Arrondissement, Luxembourg. This was the perfect location!

After searching around on Expedia, we decided to stay at Hotel DaVinci.  It was absolutely beautiful! We paid around $300 per night for a deluxe room with a balcony. (Which is a steal for this neighborhood)

The Room:

We stayed in a deluxe room with an interior balcony. It was spacious enough for both of us. The room had a fully stocked minibar. A bottle of bubbly and a sweet note were waiting for us upon check-in. (The perfect way to start our romantic getaway in the city of love). The bathroom was spacious, too! Most importantly, the room was immaculately clean.

The Service:

The staff was helpful, friendly, and always available to answer any questions. They were very happy to speak English. (Thankfully!)

The Amenities:

Our room had complimentary WiFi and an Iphone. I had never seen an Iphone in a hotel room before, and think it was a pretty cool perk. The hotel provides the phone so that guests can use it to make complimentary international calls and use it for GPS. Hotel DaVinci also offers a full service spa. Although we didn’t use the spa, it looked absolutely gorgeous. Hotel DaVinci also has a small restaurant where they serve breakfast and food throughout the day. There is also an honesty bar in the lobby.

The Location:

Hotel DaVinci is located in the 6th Arrondissement.  We walked almost everywhere- the Louvre, Museê Orsay, and other places throughout the city. We took the metro everywhere else. We also easily made the trip out to Versailles in forty-minutes from our hotel. We were a quick shuttle ride to the airport. This is something we booked on Expedia, but the hotel also offers a shuttle for a fee.

Final Thoughts:

Hotel DaVinci is an incredible hotel for the price! We will absolutely stay here again whenever we go back to Paris. It fulfilled all our dreams of a dreamy, romantic Paris.

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