springtime in portland with earth shoes

let’s talk sustainable fashion! for those of you who are unfamiliar, sustainable fashion refers to fabrics derived from eco-friendly resources, such as sustainably grown fiber crops (100% cotton, linen) or recycled materials. it also refers to how these fabrics are made, where they are made, and how the hands who prepared them are cared for.

there is something so special in knowing that the garments you wear were made with your wellbeing and the planet’s wellbeing in mind. recently i had the opportunity to go on a little shopping trip with earth shoes, a responsibly made footwear company. from their shoe materials to their recyclable glue-free shoe boxes, this company is doing things right and i am so excited to support that!

i went to a cute boutique store in portland called imelda’s, which had such a wonderful array of shoe brands, bags, and accessories! also the cutest bandanas that i may need to head back in for! i started out by pulling one of every earth shoe from the shelves so i could find the perfect pair. being that i am a huge fan of warm, earthy tones, i naturally gravitated towards these green heeled sandals and adorable wooden clogs! trying them on around the store had me sold in seconds, as they were both SO comfortable. like walking on a squishy cloud. couldn’t decide between the two so i decided to get both!

the store staff at imelda’s was so super helpful from the moment i stepped into the store to the moment i checked out. it truly makes a shopping experience that much more enjoyable when you’re surrounded by individuals who are passionate about what they do. earth shoes even had these cute little reusable tote bags so i could carry my shoes out of the store without having to use a single use shopping bag that i’d end up tossing out at the end of the day. earth shoes is a company truly committed to keeping our planet clean, which i admire so much!

if you are in the market for some fresh new shoes for the warmer season ahead, and want to do your part by choosing to shop consciously, look no further than earth shoes. :) if you are in portland, i would certainly suggest popping into imelda’s shoe store on hawthorne to try these on for yourselves. you will seriously be soo impressed! earth shoes also has an extensive online collection. life is a little sweeter knowing that our purchases are not only helping to build a sustainable wardrobe, but also helping companies like earth do their part in the sustainable fashion industry. since 2015, earth has partnered with trees for the future to plant over 480,000 trees! if that doesn’t make ya smile, then put your screen away and go step outside to enjoy our planet earth!

thanks so much for reading and hearing a little bit of my heart and thoughts on sustainable fashion! if you have any questions or are curious to know more, send me a message on instagram. i’d love to chat! :)

until next time,

↠ a

since it was such a lovely spring day, i couldn’t help but wear my new shoes out and about to give them a little test! wore these strapped heels and was truly so blown away by how comfortable they were.

How To: NYC

A few weeks ago, I caught a super cheap flight to NYC — I’m talking $200 RT from Portland. Crazy! Couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so I ventured to the East Coast with two gal pals of mine, Daktota and Elle. This was one of the few times I have been on a girls only trip, and it was so enjoyable! 10/10 would recommend. We were only together for about three days, but we certainly made the most of it, exploring tons of new local eateries, sights, and shops. Being that we all are pretty plant based when it comes to diet, we got to spend all our hard earned money at the most delicious vegan spots. Some of my trip highlights below!

AliviaLatimerxNYC-13.jpg


WHERE TO STAY

We split our time between The Park Central Hotel near Central Park and an Airbnb in Williamsburg. I loved being able to spend some time in Manhattan and get the full NYC experience at The Park Central. It was so convenient to come back to after long days of walking around, and there’s just something about falling asleep to the sounds of nightlife in New York City! If you’re looking for an easy, wholesome stay, check out The Park Central!

WHERE TO EAT

Could truly go on and on about New York’s incredible cuisine, but here are a few places we ate that really stuck out to me!

Le Botaniste (The prettiest french eatery with a 100% plant based and gluten free menu. You can’t order wrong here, but I had the Tibetan Mama bowl and I ate it so, so quick.)

Divya’s Kitchen (Divya is an incredible chef with a gorgeous, dimly lit restaurant in Manhattan. Her food style is Ayurvedic, from an Indian background, and provides a holistic sense of wellbeing based on what foods are paired together. Our meal here was truly so magical and again, was able to order off a 100% plant based menu. I got the vegan mozzarella plate, ginger mint limeade, carrot risotto, and pistachio fudge. Needless to say, I barely made it out of here without filling myself to the brim with Divya’s delicious creations. This is a must stop in NYC and I very much look forward to returning some day!)

By Chloe (Always a favorite whenever I visit NYC! Their plant based menu is so tasty and their vegan mac & cheese with coconut bacon is one of my favorite things on the planet. Could truly consume it by the gallon! They have a few locations around the USA, so definitely find your nearest location and go go go!)

Screamer’s Pizzeria (I LOVE pizza, but finding good vegan pizza can sometimes be tricky! Screamer’s pizza did not disappoint! I stumbled upon this little spot one night whilst running through the streets of Williamsburg in the pouring rain. Desperate for shelter, I found my new favorite vegan pizza in New York. I even went back a second time! Their white pie and buffalo cauliflower is somethin’ else!)

La Cafette (The holy grail of brunches in Brooklyn, the best avo toast in NYC, and a delicious strawberry smoothie. Need I say more? Some pals of mine enjoyed the eggs and salmon benedict too, for those of you non-veggie eaters out there! Get here early or make a reservation, as it’s pretty popular, but so worth the wait! Also I knocked over a very beautiful ceramic bowl and it shattered to pieces so if you go here please tell them that I am still very sorry!)

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream (Topped off almost every night in NYC with a trip to Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. They have both dairy and non-dairy flavors and they are all so tasty. They have locations all around Manhattan, so if you’re feeling in the mood for some sweet treats, treat yourself to Van Leeuwen!)

— Some other foods I consumed were at, The Grey Dog, Westbourne, Woops, FEED, and various pretzel stands around the city.

That’s about all for now folks! Thanks so much for reading! If you find yourself in NYC, let me know if you end up going to any of these places! NYC is so magic. Enjoy!

until next time

↠ a

WHERE TO EXPLORE

I’ll be honest, New York City is a playground, and every street corner is a new adventure! Some of the best spots for photogenic views are Top of The Rock, the top of the World Trade Center, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Manhattan Bridge. My favorite places to hang out are Central Park for some greenery and leisure walking, and SoHo, as it’s the shopping meca of the century. Every store you could possibly want to visit is right within a few blocks from each other. I highly recommend taking a day to put your walking shoes on and shop til you drop! Or window shop, cause that’s fun too! I LOVE Williamsburg and highly recommend making a day out of just that area. So many cute local shops and cafés to discover. Overall, just waltz around the city and you’ll have the best time!

first time in hawaii!

greetings my friends and happy new year!

i hope your year is off to a good start and you are feeling refreshed for the season ahead! one of my biggest goals for this year was to be INTENTIONAL with just about everything, from the purchases i make, ways i spend my time, projects i take on, and so much more! one of the biggest things for me is rest. i really want to make it a priority and set aside time for rest this year. it’s so important for life balance and always leaves me feeling recharged! that said, zach and i decided to book a little new years trip to hawaii to start off the year with some much needed REST. of course we explored the island a ton, but we also laid on the beach and read books, did lots of aimless walking around, ate tons of yummy food, and spent some super relaxing time in the hot tub. below are some photos from the trip along with locations of places we loved so you can join in the fun next time you’re in oahu! enjoy!

WHERE TO STAY

we stayed at the alohilani resort the entire trip & it was such a wonderfully peaceful time! honolulu can be a bit busy since it’s a huge city, but our hotel was right on the waterfront, with an exceptionally beautiful view of the ocean, so it felt like we had our own little oceanic oasis! the pool deck is amazing too, and it has an infinity pool (that alone should sell ya on it). they were so kind to offer us a stay in exchange for some images and social posts, so while this is technically sponsored, all of my statements are true, i love this place!!!

WHERE TO EAT

it is no secret that i looove vegan food! although since zach isn’t vegan, we don’t tend to go to a ton of vegan only spots — usually a mixture of places that have food for a typical diet, plus some veggie options. so if you’re not living the vegan lifestyle (or if you are), you’re in luck! all the places we went are fun for both diets! hawaii has so much yummy food, we seriously didn’t know how to fit all the places we wanted to go into our short time on the island — but here is a list of some of our favs! the photos below are of my two favorite spots we went to: the lighter side cafe, hale’iwa bowls, 1979 hawaii, and arvo!

— ARVO (breakfast, avo toast, smoothies)

— hale’iwa bowls (acai bowls…the best!)

— the lighter side cafe (lots of vegan & non-vegan options. probably our favorite meal of the trip!)

— maguro spot (our fav shaved ice)

— morning brew kaka’ako (breaky, yummy tofu scramble)

— beetbox cafe (our fav breakfast at this vegetarian restaurant!)

— goofy cafe (breakfast, only one veggie option, which is an acai bowl!)

— highway inn (dinner, not too many veggie options, but still very tasty & wildly popular!)

— rainbow drive in (zach loved this place for traditional hawaiin food, no veggie options though!)

— SALT at our kakaako (literally sooo many yummy spots in this little cluster of eateries, you will not be disappointed)

— poké bar (i loved this place, sooo good)

— 1979 hawaii (pineapple stand on the side of the road! BEST smoothie!)

WHERE TO EXPLORE

my absolute favorite part of any adventure is exploring the local lands! we visited so many rad places on the island that i don’t even have photos to share of all of them! however, zach put together an amazing video from the trip with footage from just about everywhere we went! below are our favorite spots we explored as well as some photos! :)

— laniakea beach (sea turtles & massive waves)

— yokohama beach (our fav beach for relaxing, pretty free from tourists!)

— hoomaluhia botanical garden (a jungle jem in the middle of the island. a must see!)

— paiko flower shop (attached to the ARVO restaurant & an adorable place to shop local)

— china walls (fantastic sunset views on a cliff on the edge of the island, we loved this spot!)

— mermaid caves (if you go at low tide, you can walk inside the caves, so neat!)

— kaiwi shoreline at makapuu (a peaceful hike with beautiful views of the coastline!)

 

all in all, we absolutely loved this island. there was soo much we didn’t get to explore so we will definitely be making our way back hopefully sometime soon! before i go, i’ll leave you with a few tips that we didn’t really know but wish we had before going!

— honolulu has really bad traffic. we spent at least one hour in solid traffic every day either leaving or coming back into the city, so try to drive at off-times

— the north shore is the place to be. a lot of tourists but it was my favorite place! definitely spend a lot of time there

— get suggestions from locals, they know best!

— it rains a lot and isn’t always sunny!

— parking in some places is coins only

— it is a little pricier than the continental USA. some meals for both of us were $50, or for example i paid $17 for a poke bowl…yikes!

— it’s the coolest place, and you’ll never want to leave! ;)

thanks for reading! until next time,

↠ a

LONDON vs PARIS

hello my friends! i hope you’re having a happy day. i recently just got back from a trip to both london and paris, two of my favorite cities in the world! i contemplated making two separate blog posts talking about the fun happenings of each city, but then i thought, hey, it might be fun to give them each a little competition! i am often asked which of the two i like more or would recommend traveling to, so i’ve listed out some fun pros & cons of each — and of course, some photos from the trip to enjoy as you read! so whether you’re traveling to either england or france, or you’re plotting an epic european adventure, this one’s for you.

 

VS


GETTING THERE

i would say the cost of plane tickets from the continental united states to both london and paris are pretty equal, and also not as expensive as you might think! i have only ever flown direct to london, but have flown back home from paris many times! it’s a close call, but i think london may be a liiiittle bit cheaper to fly to, which makes sense, since geographically it’s a bit closer. if you watch for flight deals you can easily get a round trip ticket for less than $500. my past two trips cost me $343 round trip and $272 round trip, both flying from seattle — CRAZY! i’m sure it’s even cheaper the further east you live. so if there’s one thing to take away from this it’s that getting to europe is NOT too expensive. you can all save up and do it, i just know it! :) one point for london!

FOOD

this one’s for all you foodies out there…or those of you who like to eat simply just to stay alive! both london and paris have excellent food scenes! i think i’ve had some of my favorite meals in both of these cities! i would say london is GREAT for those wanting to eat a bit healthier — lots of greens and vegan spots and hip healthy food joints, where as paris is the place i tend to indulge in breads, pastas, and pastries galore. also add in cheese and wine for those of you who partake! both have great coffee/tea scenes as well, but i think i enjoy western culture that london emulates in it’s trendy shops and cafés. so when it comes to food, hats off to london, but that’s just my personal choice (as a trendy vegan like myself). i’m sure some parisian fans would argue to disagree.

now, even though ALL of these places were absolutely delightful to stay at, i have to give this one to london, specifically for the st pancras hotel (AKA the hotel from harry potter, kings cross station, platform 9 3/4!!!). this hotel is an actual dream. a large castle, home to beautiful rooms and the best breakfast ever. it’s also connected to kings cross train station, which is SO convenient if you’re taking the tube to explore, or if you are traveling internationally! zach and i took the eurostar train to paris and it was such a breeze! literally woke up, walked out of our hotel room, and straight into the train station — too easy! if you’re looking for a cool hotel full of culture (and harry potter feels), or easy access to the train station, definitely book a night or two at this hotel!!!

total score

london — 3

paris — 3

it’s a TIE! i guess i just can’t pick a favorite after all — however, i love both of these cities dearly, and i will continue to visit them for as long as i can! i hope this post helped or encouraged you to decide where you may want to roam next! any ideas? if so, leave me a note on instagram which you’d choose! until next time, keep on creating!

↠ a

TRANSPORTATION

getting around in both london and paris is a total breeze thanks to their incredible public transportation systems. i personally think the tube in london is a little more complicated than the metro in paris, because you have to tap in and tap out with a card each time, whereas in paris you have a ticket that scans once and then you’re good to go. plus, the paris metro is by number (line 4, line 8, etc.) whereas in london, it goes by the name of the end of each line, which can get a little confusing, but still not too tricky! the tube in london is a lot newer than the metro in paris, but for some reason i just like the metro more! they are both around the same price for say a one or three day ticket, but i think paris is a bit cheaper, so paris wins this round in my book!

COST / BUDGET

ok, so something you’ll need to know is both london and paris are more expensive than the united states. not drastically, buuut think $17-$20 for a meal instead of $13-$15 like it is in the usa. paris is definitely a bit cheaper than london, but both are expensive enough to where you’d want to plan out a budget for food, transport, lodging, etc. latte’s are $6, avocado toast is $15, but it’s fine…we’re millennials and that’s what we do, right? :P overall, i personally would probably budget $1000 for a week in either city (you hopefully won’t spend it all, but it’s nice to have just to be safe)! if i have to pick a winner on this one, i’d say paris takes the cake.

WHERE TO STAY

london and paris both have some pretty spectacular places to stay, from boutique hotels to trendy airbnbs and cottages, you really can’t go wrong in either city! however, i will give a list of a few places i’ve stayed, and which i liked best!

paris: hotel monge, hotel fabric, reniassance vendome.

london: the london edition, this adorable airbnb, st pancras reniassance

THINGS TO DO

for the final category, i want to talk about the actual ways to spend time in both of these cities, what they have to offer, and what you must absolutely see and do. i’m going to start right off the bat and say that i personally enjoy walking around paris quite a bit more than in london. not that london doesn’t have it going on, because it does. i love the brits! but let me explain. i am so so so in love with the parisian architecture, that i literally never want to stop taking photos there. i feel like there’s a few more touristy attractions here as well, ie. arc de triumph, notre dame, the louvre, palais royal, the river, luxembourg gardens, and of course, the la tour eiffel. i love walking through each of this places and simply strolling the streets, stopping at bakeries and cafés and truly living the french life. london, on the other hand feels a bit more americanized, in my opinion. there is definitely a lot of old architecture as well, but there are also a fair amount of more modern looking places, lots and lots of fast fashion (which we are not fans of in this house ladies n gents!), and overall feels kinda like an older new york city. i truly do love it there and honestly would jump at the chance to live there if i could, but big ben, tower bridge, and buckingham palace just don’t do it for me like the eiffel tower can! not to put a downer on london though, because it really is lovely. the outskirts and suburbs are a 10/10. shoreditch, notting hill, brighton, lingfield (actually probs don’t go to lingfield, it’s v small) are all some fantastic little gems that aren’t in the heart of the city. overall, however, i have to give this one to paris! ok…now let’s tally it up!