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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,
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.
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!
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!!!
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!
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!
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!
hellooooo and happy september! i hope you all have had an eventful summer! it's been a great (and HOT) one, but needless to say, i am so ready for fall! if you need to pass some time between the seasons, here's some end of summer suggestions:
- go camping
- have a sleepover with friends
- go on a smoothie escapade & drink only smoothies for the rest of the month
- road trip to a city you've never been to before and explore
SPEAKING OF EXPLORING CITIES (see what i did there? such a nice segway), i recently had the chance to explore oakland, california for 24 hours with Visit Oakland and it was so fun! myself along with me sweet boyfriend/photographer/videographer/best friend took an early morning flight from portland to oakland and packed a ton of stuff into just one day — so whether the bay area is already on your bucket list or perhaps after this it will be, here's a little peak into what we did (video coming soon)!
the first stop of the day was of course checking to our hotel, the oakland marriott, in downtown oakland. it had such a peaceful vibe with all the warm colors and natural woods (my favorite!), and my room had a lovely view of oakland, the bay bridge, AND the golden gate bridge. one of my favorite perks was the m club lounge, which had tons of snacks and drinks at all times! so whether you're a 'tea at night' or 'toast in the morning' kind of person, there is something for everyone here! the hotel also had a lovely little pool, which i didn't get a chance to go in, but it's on my list for next time!
after checking into our hotel, we walked right around the corner to find a super cute juice bar called super juiced! this little place was just adorable and was inside of a sunroom on the side of a building — how cool is that? i had the ginger glow green juice and it was super tasty — a little spicy because of the ginger but i still loved it! if you're downtown and need a quick refresher, definitely pop into super juiced for juices, smoothies, or acai bowls. they have it all!
whilst driving to lunch, we came across this huge mural on a side street and i was so intrigued! the mural was literally so big i couldn't fit it all in one photo, but below are photos of my two favorite parts of it! something really cool about this mural is that there are phone numbers under each painting and when you call them, they have an audio recording from the artists telling you the story behind the painting, which is seriously so cool. all of these paintings were created in collaboration with locals from gaza, palestine to raise awareness about the struggles and resistance that have been faced by palestines. such a cool thing that i encourage you to go see and listen to if you're in the area!
if you're looking at the palestine mural and decide you're hungry, just turn around and you will be facing the coolest little vegan spot called hella vegan eats. this place had a neat outdoor garden area with tons of picnic tables, and also had a bunch of classic cars inside the restaurant — old cars, plants, and vegan food, what more could i need?! i ordered the babe burger with fries and it was so super delicious. after my flight and exploring all morning, it definitely hit the spot. so whether you're vegan or perhaps would like to try some plant based goodness while you're in oakland, i would highly recommend this place. it was "hella" good. :P
if you didn't know, i am a huge fan of airplanes (and not just because my boyfriend is a pilot, haha)! i have loved planes and flying and going to airshows my whole life, so i was super excited to find out that oakland had it's very own aviation museum! it was so fun to walk around and look at all the neat old school planes and learn about the history behind them all. oh, and it didn't hurt to have my own personal aviation expert to give me all the fun facts! if you find it fun to learn about the history of air travel, this is definitely the place for you!
after our exciting time with the airplanes, we decided to take it a little slower and have a walk through the gardens of lake merritt. this garden is SEVEN acres (which is so large for a garden in the city) and it is so peaceful to walk through. one of my favorite things inside is the air bee-n-bee — seriously, how cute is that? such a lovely little home for the bees! there were so many pretty flowers as well, and it was all around such a blissful time! also, it's free. so if you're a nature lover like me, this is a must see. nothing better than a little green in the city!
art on art on art
have you ever had the urge to just pop into an art gallery and be a part of a community art project? if not, you should! i'm so glad we walked into the joyce gordon art gallery when we did because we were able to watch artist stevens jay carter in the process of creating a new community mural. he is having locals write three words that inspire change to them and then draw the visual meaning on a heart. he is then incorporating it into his final piece, which i am so excited to see! this was such a cool experience that i feel is so unique to oakland. there is so much art culture in this city, and it is so moving.
all in all, oakland is a vibey little city packed with tons of culture and a whole lot of art and soul. so next time you're in the bay area, be sure to hop across the bay bridge and check this fun city off of your bucket list! here are a few more of my favorite photos from the day!
*thanks to Visit Oakland for sponsoring this post. although it is sponsored, all opinions are my own!
hey hi hello! long time no talk! this summer has been super busy traveling about & also taking some much needed time to focus on building community & relationships here in portland. taking the time to pour into people & build a community of friends that is encouraging, uplifting, and helpful to one an other can be a whole lot of work — however, the end results are so rewarding! that said, i am excited to be partnering with uber to share with you guys my thoughts about female empowerment & how uber is advocating for empowerment across the charts.
1. as a girl, i think it is super important to have female role models to look up to AND be surrounded by likeminded women who share common passions to help inspire & motivate you to achieve your goals & be the best version of yourself. all of the gals in this photo have certainly motivated me in my career & personal life at some point & i encourage you to find some gal pals of your own to take over the world with!
2. another topic that is pretty important to me is diversity, especially within the creative space. having friends from different races, cultures & different walks of life can be incredibly inspiring & can bring something new to the table every time. something cool that uber is initiating is a plan to have one million women driver-partners using uber by 2020. go uber!!!
3. uber is all about #WhereTo & i think one of the best ways to take over the world with your female friends is to hit the road & take on the town! there is something so liberating & just plain fun about having a girls trip or girls day out! like i mentioned above, being surrounded by likeminded individuals to encourage & push you is truly the best feeling.
below are a few images i captured with my friends! i know you guys are used to seeing me in front of the camera, but i decided to step behind the camera like the creative businesswoman that i am & direct this shoot myself! i hope you all enjoyed this post & are left feeling inspired to go take over the world with your girls.
keep on creating!