where to stay, eat, & play in vancouver

A little over a week ago, I had the opportunity to visit a city that’s long been on my bucket list, Vancouver, British Columbia. It was a work trip promoting #VisitVancouver and I feel incredibly lucky that blogging allows me to see new places and make new friends along the way. I didn’t know much of what to expect this trip or what the city would be like, which made for a pleasant surprise in so many ways. The weather was glorious, the food was out of this world, and the city as a whole has this vibe that feels modern yet classic…a feeling that stays with you long after you leave. I’m already itching to get back with the boys because I know they’ll absolutely love it.

Accommodations: I had the opportunity to stay the fabulous JW Marriott Parq, which exceeded all expectations. Be sure and ask for a waterfront view, where you can watch the boats cruising around False Creek with the mountains in the distance. I highly recommend paying a little more to use the Executive Lounge, which offers all day snacking, desserts, happy hour, and an incredible breakfast spread. Have the itch to gamble? You’re in luck because while I didn’t take advantage, the Parq boasts a large casino between the two hotels (the Douglas Hotel is there, as well). The location of JW Marriott is excellent as well, as I walked all over the city with fellow bloggers and learned quickly that the Parq is ideal if you don’t plan on renting a car in Vancouver. You’re just a 5 minute walk from the gorgeous seawall, and only a 2 minute walk from the aqua bus dock that will take you over to Granville Island (a MUST do). You’re also walking distance from Gastown and CF Pacific Center, one of the biggest and most fabulous malls I’ve ever stepped foot in. The Nordstrom there is worth the walk alone as it’s one of only nine flagship stores and a shopper’s paradise.

Where to eat: Could ramble about this all day, because I got to try so much delicious food in Vancouver. Since the bloggers I got to spend time with were all Canadian and most local, they knew the best places in the city and we wined and dined our hearts out. A few of my favorites:
honey SALT- Located inside the Parq, this was an obvious choice for convenience but I’d also had so many recommendations to try it. I ordered pancakes and bacon at brunch and they were, no joke, the best pancakes I’ve ever tasted in my life. I’m craving them right now just thinking about it. Also recommend having tea here- such a fun way to spend an afternoon with girlfriends!
Banter Room- Located in the chic and trendy area of the city known as Yaletown, this is the perfect place to grab a tasty post-dinner cocktail and people watch from the patio. If you’re hungry, definitely order the nachos or pulled pork sliders. I’ve also heard brunch here is amazing.
Bella Gelateria- The line here is always way out the door, but it’s definitely worth the wait. A quick 5 minute walk from Gastown, you’ll want to order the Chocolate Belgian Brownie on a waffle cone and can thank me later.
The Sandbar- If you go over to Granville Island (which you totally should! Will share more on that below), request a table on the third story patio. You’ll have surreal views of the city that will take your breath away. Order the BBQ Rib Steak and Truffle Parmesan Fries that melt in your mouth.

What to do: Vancouver has SO many sights to see, it feels like there’s something fun and exciting everywhere you turn. I didn’t even make it up to Whistler, which I’m told is definitely bucket-list material. I feel like I walked all over Vancouver in 3 days and these were my favorite spots:
Walk along the Seawall: Grab brunch at a local restaurant along the Seawall and then take a leisurely stroll down the water’s edge where you’ll find enormous yachts docked, sailboats floating by, women practicing yoga, and some of the best people watching in the city. Grab a chocolate croissant from Giovane Cafe and enjoy a sunny afternoon sitting on the lawn overlooking the harbor.
Granville Island: I’d heard this was a bit touristy, but am so glad we made the boat ride over. For just a few dollars, you can hop on an Aqua Bus and ride down False Creek to Granville Island, one of the city’s most historic places that boasts a huge Farmer’s Market, eateries, and shops. There are also usually free outside shows going on, and the views here are some of the best in the city. The Aqua Buses run until 10:15pm in the summer, and will take you to all the big stops around the city with a day pass. This was one of my favorite ways to get around the city and I’m not usually a water person. Highly recommend!
Steam Clock in Gastown: Gastown charmed my socks off in every way. The brick-lined streets, endless shopping (both chic boutiques and souvenir), and the most famous spot there of all, the Steam Clock. This is a great place to grab dinner and souvenir shop. Eat at one of my all-time favorites, The Old Spaghetti Factory, and walk up W Waterfront Road for stunning views of the mountains surrounded by crystal blue water.
Shop in Yaletown: I could’ve spent all afternoon here and almost did; girlfriends and I shopped at The Cross Decor and Design which is one of the most beautiful stores I’ve ever seen. It’s like Anthopologie on crack, for lack of a better description. I also found myself making a second trip to Karameller after my friend Keisha introduced me to this sugar haven; y’all know I love my candy and this adorable Swedish candy shop had all my sour gummy favorites.
Visit Wander Van Dusen Botanical Gardens: 22 acres of gorgeous gardens await you here, perfect for finding a shady spot to picnic in the summer months. Be sure and bring your camera because the photo opportunities are endless.

There is so much I didn’t get to see or do in Vancouver, which is why I can’t wait to get back. For such a large city, it has a very relaxed, safe, and clean feel. I’ve heard the Science Museum is amazing for kids, and hope to take Bear & Boone one day soon. If you’ve been to Vancouver, what was your favorite part? Would love to hear!
xo, Britt

nordstrom anniversary sale try-on

**8 new outfits shared at the end of this post!
Oh my goodness, where to start?! It’s been a whirlwind of a day (the past two days, really) and I fully intended to do a massive try-on at my local Nordstrom yesterday for the Anniversary Sale. You guys know that this is the biggest sale of the year as far as Nordstrom shoppers are concerned and I always try to cover it as best I can. I want to be a resource for y’all in case you’re shopping the sale either Early Access for card holders or Public Access on July 19th. Anyway, my local Nordstrom at The Woodlands Mall wouldn’t let me try on yesterday when I had a babysitter so today, the boys got to go with Mommy for a fast and furious try-on session. I think y’all will get a kick out of their shenanigans and please don’t feel too sorry for them- we were in the dressing room for all of 15 minutes and they were both rewarded with a toy and Chick Fil A afterwards. I didn’t even get around to looking at shoes, bags, or accessories, but I did find some clothing items that I loved and brought home (most all of what you’ll see below). I plan to get to Nordstrom again before the sale opens to the public in a week, so check back when I update this post for lots of new finds!


LOVED this sweater (size small). It’s $38, not itchy at all, and the prettiest shade of pink (but also comes in more color options). I was also so excited to see that the popular Free People “holey” jeans are part of the sale. They’re marked down to $51, have great stretch, and run one size small (I’m in a 26). Also wanted to link these necklaces because they’re my current favs. Use code BRITT15 to get 15% off the name necklace!


This tee is SO good, y’all. I’m in a size small; it fits a little loose/over-sized which I love. It’s only $15 and comes in 5 color options. I own the black and white striped from 2 years ago and wear it all fall and winter. Stock up on these because they will sell out! Also great for layering under vests, sweater, etc. and great because they’re a little longer in the back.


I fell in love with this tunic sweater right away and knew it would be coming home with me. It’s on sale for just under $50 and the quality is amazing. I’m in a size small and would say it runs true to size. Perfect for wearing with leggings. And speaking of leggings, y’all know by now that I literally live in the Zella Live-In Leggings; they’re the BEST for sucking you in in all the right places while still being super comfortable. They’re on sale for $38 and worth every penny. I’m in a size XS and they run TTS.


Had to pick up a few of these tees because they’re just $11 and so soft! I’m in a size small and could’ve done an XS but I like a little looser fit in tees. I really like how the v-neck isn’t too deep but it’s still nursing friendly. Boonester approves.


I’ve been on the fence about a BLANKNYC moto jacket for years and I’m so glad I took the plunge and bought this one today. For $64 (goes back up to $98 after the sale), it was a no-brainer. It’s so comfortable and will add so much to all my fall and winter outfits. It’s also the perfect lightweight jacket for us Houstonians! I also grabbed this leopard and lace cami that’s $25 and runs TTS (I’m in size small).


This tee is the same as the white one above that’s $11. I brought home this whole outfit because I didn’t want to take it off! The cardigan is cozy and soft, and a great deal at $31. It comes in 4 colors I believe and I also want the rust color. I tried on 3 different cardigans but this was the only one I really loved and also happened to be the most inexpensive. #winning


Obviously I was all about the comfy tees today, but had to share this scoop neck one as well because it’s slightly different than the others in length and neckline. It’s a little on the long side which I like, especially for layering. It’s $15 and runs TTS. Also love the pocket detail on this one.


These jeans…I cannot say enough good things. They’re the Wit & Wisdom “Ab” Solution Jeans which means they have an elastic waistband that’s super comfortable and sucks you in. I’ve owned these jeans for over a month now and can honestly say they’re the most comfortable pair in my closet. I also had to pick up this henley because it’s on sale for $24 and will be great for layering all fall and winter (size small). Also cute just by itself!


When I felt of this top, I knew right away I would wanna live in it. The material is SO buttery soft and it’s perfect for layering over leggings or jeans. The top is on sale for $24 and comes in 5 color options; the striped one is also in my cart. I’m in a size small for reference.


Here’s a look at how this top looks layered with a cozy BLANKNYC jacket. I felt like a teddy bear in this and was ready to head to Aspen. Not quite conducive to current Houston temperatures, but I know I’ll love having this come Christmas-time. I got the size XS in the jacket, it runs TTS.


Another top I had to pick up (in size XS) and some really flattering dark wash jeans (size 24, run TTS). I cuffed the jeans at the bottom because they’re a tiny bit long on my 5’3 frame, but I don’t think most people would need to cuff them. They have a great stretch and are more mid than high rise.


I saw my friend Kylee talk about this North Face Hoodie and had to try it on for myself. I tried on the XS but plan on ordering the small because it was snug on me, so I suggest sizing up one size (especially if you plan to wear a top underneath). It is really cozy and I love the overall look and feel of it.
These hunter jeans are also such a great piece for fall; you can wear them with booties or dress them down with sneakers. So many options and they’re super comfortable with a good stretch. They run TTS.


This Topshop sweater is on sale for $44 and it’s the perfect color for fall. I like it with these green skinny jeans, but there are so many ways you could wear it. I’m in a size small, it does run a little big/oversized.


Grabbed this $18 tank because it’s one of the few things in the Anniversary Sale we Houstonians can actually wear right now without having a heatstroke. It’s super soft and has good length to it. Sadly I just saw it’s only available in size XX-Large online, but I’ll check for restocks for y’all and will update this if it becomes available again. Also you can call your local store and check as my store still had lots of sizes yesterday.


I’d heard several bloggers rave about this $44 Leith cardigan and had to see what the hype was all about. Turns out they were right- it’s the perfect cardigan! Has such a cozy fit, hits at just the right length, and the material isn’t itchy at all. I think I’ll be ordering another color or two. I’m in a size small for reference.

And that’s all I have for y’all today! I do have a lot more in store starting next week. I also will be doing a big denim try-on on Instagram stories tomorrow sharing my favorite jeans of the sale aside from the pair in this post. There are some really good ones that I think y’all will love! Are you shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year? If so, what’s on your list?
xo, Britt