Girls Getaway to Chicago!


Hi guys! 

I’m back with another trip recap! My bestie & I recently visited Chicago for a fun girls getaway! I had been to Chicago before (& even have another recap on the blog here) but never during the wintertime, & let me tell you it’s COLD. I’m an AZ girl at heart & love, love, love the warm sunshine. I have to admit it was so pretty when it was snowing in the city. It felt very… urban & wintery lol.

Where we Stayed

Ok so storytime! We originally booked an Airbnb in Chinatown. Now we knew it was in Chinatown, but we didn’t really know what to expect, we just wanted something cheap & a place to crash at the end of the day. Welllll it was a little more crusty than we expected, so we quickly made other arrangements & ended up loving our hotel. We stayed at the Warwick Allerton Hotel in downtown Chicago. It was literally blocks from everywhere we wanted to visit downtown. And we had a lovely view of Tiffany’s…

Where we Ate

We both chose places with plant-based options because we both try to eat that way, so for my fellow vegan, plant lovers, here’s a little list of yummy places in downtown Chicago!

We arrived Saturday morning & headed right to Hampton Social. For my Phoenix friends, it reminded us both of The Montauk in Old Town Scottsdale. Very beachy, chic, nautical vibes. There was the cutest neon sign & palm tree wallpaper. If my house could look like anything, it would be that. The food was also amazing & nourishing. They also served drinks in mason jars! So cute! The Little Beet Table was another restaurant that we tried. The menu doesn’t have a ton of veggie options, but we got the hummus to share & I got the veggie tacos. They tasted amazing after surviving off Clif bars for breakfast, lunch & snacks lol. We went to Celeste on Saturday night for drinks, but they also serve food. I got a cucumber, mint drink & it was so refreshing. Also the bartender was very nice & helped us figure out a place to stay since our Airbnb was notsocute. 10/10 recommend. The last place we went was highly suggested by locals & people who have been before. Cindy’s is a rooftop restaurant/bar with amazing views of Millennium Park & Lake Michigan. The food was also amazing. You probably want to make a reservation here, as we went on a Monday during lunchtime & it was super crowded. We made a reservation for every place we went (because we are both Type A preparers) but reservations aren’t necessary because no place was ever super busy & we were there on a holiday weekend. 

Where we Caffeinated 

The amount of oat milk lattes I consumed on this trip is not ok & probably not healthy. But they were all so good & got me through long days of sightseeing. There is no shortage of cute coffee shops in Chicago! We went to Intelligentsia Coffee on Saturday & it had a very minimal, urban feel. Great place to charge your phone & warm up! Fairgrounds Coffee & Hero Coffee were also stops we made. Hero Coffee is the “famous” one that is hidden away in an alley & has major Harry Potter vibes. The last coffee shop we went to was my favorite – Goddess & the Baker. So cute! They also have a full display of desserts & cafe food. We were sitting in that coffeeshop when it started snowing & it was the most wintery scene I’d ever experienced. It was so cute & romantic I wanted to move to someplace cold for a quick second. But then we stepped outside & I remembered who I really am. Not a snowy gal. 

What we Did 

We did so much in the short time we were there! Of course we did the typical Chicago things, like Millennium Park & The Bean. We walked along Michigan Avenue & Magnificent Mile. There is lots of shopping to do! Our hotel was a short walk to the Starbucks Reserve, so we explored that & ordered fancy drinks. We went to the Chicago Cultural Center, which just has amazing architecture. The Field Museum was also highly recommended, so we checked that out. We’re both not big museum people, but it was huge & has lots to see. It would be a great place to go if you have a lot of time. Also, you get a student discount!! Of course we had to go to Willis Tower, which has an overlook over the whole city. It was the coolest experience!! We bought our tickets ahead of time, but waited 3 hours to get to the top & get pics… I still recommend it because it’s really pretty & gives an amazing perspective of the city. The other paid activity that we did was a Wendella Architecture Boat Tour. It was sooo cold, but really pretty & we learned a lot about the city. About 15 minutes outside of downtown is the Garfield Observatory. There are different plant exhibits & it was pretty much the only time I was warm the whole trip lol. It is free, but they take donations. 

I think that’s it!! We did & saw so much, & it was a whirlwind of a trip, but so, so fun. 10/10 recommend taking a spontaneous trip with your best friend. We made memories that we’ll never forget!! 

LA Recap

Hi guys!

I just got back from a super fun trip to Chicago!! Lauren & I decided to spontaneously go because we had a three day weekend & it was the best idea ever! It was so cold but so worth it. Earlier this year though, I took a trip to LA with my brother & his girlfriend & I wanted to do a quick recap! I know I’m behind on trips, but I have another one coming up in March, so I thought I better get started!

Where we Stayed 

We stayed in Redondo Beach, which is kind of a suburb of Los Angeles. We stayed at the Redondo Beach Hotel, & had the best view of the ocean. It was a cute little place that was a great place to crash at the end of the night.

Where we Ate

For dinner one of the nights, we tried Cafe Gratitude in Santa Monica! For my AZ friends, it was a lot like Flower Child! Really good food, great vibes, service & prices. All of the dishes were vegan & it was so great to go somewhere & have so many options. Even my brother, who isn’t vegan, loved the food. 10/10 recommend. I also suggest having a beach picnic! We just went to a local Whole Foods & got some snacks & wine & it was so relaxing. 

Where we Caffeinated 

Whenever I travel someplace new, I want to try as many local coffee shops as possible. One that I HAD to try was Alfred Coffee & Tea House. It’s kinda confusing because there are multiple locations, but they are all cute so & yummy so you can’t go wrong. I got an oat milk latte & I’m addicted now! 

What we Did

We were only there for a few days so we had to make the most of our time! We drove so we had a car which was really helpful because it’s such a big place, it’s hard to walk everywhere. We walked around Melrose, with all the famous shops. We saw Paul Smiths Pink Wall, & stopped in Glossier. Such a fun experience! We also drove to the top of the Griffith Observatory! Pro tip! It’s kind of a hike up, so I suggest wearing comfy shoes & leaving time to walk, but also spend time at the top. We took a little detour to Venice Beach on the way home. Also such a fun place. I got a photo in front of the iconic Venice sign! It’s definitely a place you could spend a whole day, so I think I have to go back just for that. We hit up Hollywood, & I’m going to be honest, it was underwhelming. There wasn’t much to do in actual Hollywood, but it is fun to walk around & experience it.

I think that’s it! I should’ve written this post like, a month ago, but better late than never! Be on the lookout for a Chicago recap coming soon! 

Palm Springs Recap + Guide

Hi guys!!

I am so excited because today’s blog post is a Palm Springs recap/Things to Do & See! I went to Palm Springs with Stephen a couple of weekends ago just for a little getaway & it was really nice! I didn’t go on a big trip this year & spent pretty much all summer working, so it was a nice vacay. It is definitely a place that I will need to go back to soon because it’s impossible to fit it all into a weekend. 

WHERE TO STAY 

We stayed at the Skylark Hotel which is extremely close to downtown Palm Springs & one of my favorite coffee shops that I’ll talk about later! It’s a small hotel & not the nicest, but not overly expensive. It has a nice pool & hot tub that was never crowded, & a simple continental breakfast. Also, the mountain views are amazingggg. Every morning when we were eating breakfast we would sit out at the pool & it was so pretty. One of my favorite parts of the trip probably! We did have a slight issue with the electricity going off, but they were helpful & had it fixed. If you’re just looking for a place to sleep, eat & get a tan, this is a good place! 

TO DO 

Like I mentioned before, there is so much to do & see in Palm Springs & the area! We tried to balance out walking around & taking photos, with things that Stephen would like as well lol. I could easily go there just for an Instagram trip! 

Aerial Tramway – This is so cool because you travel up the mountain & can see the city from the top, while hiking & enjoying cooler weather. It was $25 per person I’m pretty sure, but worth it in my opinion. 

Joshua Tree Park – This is a MUST if you’re going to be in Palm Springs! It is about an hour drive from the city, but an iconic desert. You can choose to hike or drive through the park. There are even designated spots to pull over & take photos. I recommend going later in the day because it would be a gorgeous drive at dusk. 

Salvation Mountain – An iconic spot on the way to Palm Springs is Salvation Mountain. It’s literally a mountain in the middle of nowhere that is painted colorfully. We visited it on the way home & it was about an hour & a half detour. It is definitely cool to see, & very interesting, but if you don’t get a chance to go… you’re not missing out. I wanted to include it in this guide because we did go, but it is very far off the beaten path, & kinda in a sketchy area. A great place to get pics though! 

Thick as Thieves – In downtown Palm Springs, there are so many cute tourist shops! One that you must visit is Thick as Thieves. They have a lot of neutral, boho decor & trinkets. Overpriced? Maybe. But cute!! 

That Pink Door (1100 E. Sierra Way) – Okay so I know you’re wondering “Well did she go to the pink door?!” Yes, yes I did. Stephen thought it was ridiculous that I wanted a photo of someone’s door, & while it might be crazy, I couldn’t go to Palm Springs & not see it, & you can’t either! The neighborhoods around the city are cute & the architecture of the homes is what dreams are made of. In cooler weather, it would be fun to rent bikes & ride around the different neighborhoods getting home inspo & Instagram content! 

TO EAT 

I’m one of those people who goes on vacation partly for all the good food. I am such a foodie & love trying new, local spots. We only did dinner out every night because ~budget~ but there are sooo many yummy places! 

Lulu – We went here for dinner the first night & the vibes are fun & relaxed! They give you free bread, so honestly, what’s not to love?! 

Tommy Bahama – This place was our favorite meal the whole trip by far!! It’s weird because it’s connected to a Tommy Bahama store, but don’t let that fool you! You order at a counter & then they bring the food to you, but there is a nice patio with live music & great people watching. The food is also BOMB. So fresh & authentic & not that expensive. 

Just Chillin’ – This frozen yogurt place is perfect for a little treat. They have dairy-free, low sugar, low carb options so they have something for everyone! It’s a typical frozen yogurt place where you make your own & pay based on weight, but it was a nice treat. The inside isn’t too cute, but the outside is pink & fun. 

COFFEE SPOTS

Another thing that I love about vacation is visiting local coffee shops! We tried a new coffee shop everyday lol.

Koffi – This place was recommended to us before we went, & I’m passing on the recommendation!  The coffee is soo good, the baristas are friendly & the vibes are good too. All the boxes checked! 

Ernest – This coffee shop is on the outskirts of the city & it’s connected to a bar. The patio has a cute background for photos & the coffee is good too! Worth a visit for sure. 

I had a great time & I truly already want to go back! It is a short drive from Phoenix & perfect for a weekend getaway. I hope this post was fun & helpful to read! Let me know if you’ve been before & what you recommend doing, seeing & eating!

Spring Break 2019 Recap

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Guys! I’m back!! I took an unintentional like, month long break. But this post will be all about my spring break trip to Oahu, Hawaii!!

This was my second visit to the island of Oahu & I am just as in love with it as the first time! My brother is super lucky & actually lives there, so I am excited for lots of future visits, but also wanting to explore other islands! 

I went with my roommate & her friend this time around & we got to see some things that I missed last time I went which was nice. We stayed downtown Waikiki, which I highly recommend doing because you’re literally so close to everything. We stayed at Ohana Waikiki East & the Hilton & both were within walking distance to Waikiki beach & all the tourist shops, places to eat & the mall(s). 

Our first night there we were tired from a long day of travel & had to watch the Bachelor finale! (This season omg). But when we landed we went to the Ala Moana Center for some food. It’s a huge mall in the middle of the city, so I’d suggest making your way there at some point. They sometimes have shows going on, like last time I saw a hula dance! If nothing else, there is an international food court with lots of yummy options. 

One thing on my must-do list was a waterfall hike. A popular hike is the Monoa Falls Trail. The waterfall itself is honestly not as impressive as I thought it would be, but it’s still a beautiful, somewhat easy hike. There is also a fence surrounding the actual falls, so to get the best pics & stuff you gotta break the rules. 😉 Diamond Head is another hike that we did. It’s super famous & has amazing views of the city & ocean!

We had lots of good eats on this trip too, which made my inner foodie soo happy. Every morning we tried out a new coffee shop, & some of my favs were Island Vintage Coffee & Kai Coffee. Island Vintage also looked like it had amazing, colorful food, plus super cute mugs. If you’re anything like me, you’ll wanna stop there for a souvenir mug (or two). For places to eat, we tried the famous UDON Ramen that is only in Waikiki & Japan!! It was sooo good. If you’re a ramen lover, 10/10 recommend. But it’s usually super crowded, so I would suggest going in the middle of the afternoon like we did to avoid a long line! We also tried Maui Brewing Company, Buhio Waikiki, Mahaloha Burger, & Cheeseburger in Paradise.

This time around I made it to North Shore! I HIGHLY recommend finding a way up there because the drive itself is so pretty. We stopped in Haleiwa, a small town on the North Shore to look around in the shops. We also made it to the Sunrise Shack, which is the cutest little smoothie/acai stand on the side of the road. 

STORYTIME: So the Sunrise Shack was the one thing I realllyyy wanted to visit because I wanted a cute picture & an acai bowl. By the time we got there I was so hungry, so I ordered a large acai bowl. Jay Alvarez, the Instagram famous photographer was there in front of us in line! He was with his girlfriend(?). Anyway, I was waiting around for my acai bowl for about half an hour & finally I went & asked them about it & they scrambled to make it, BUT I think that Jay Alvarez’s girlfriend TOOK my acai bowl. She has since taken a photo with it & posted it on Instagram & it’s gotten 50,000 plus likes, so at least I can say my acai bowl is famous. In the moment I was hangry, but it’s a pretty funny story to tell!!

On our North Shore day we also stopped by the Dole Plantation to get some dole whip & Green World Coffee Farm. If you’re a coffee lover, make sure to stop there & get free samples & smell alll the yummy bean juice. 🙂 We also spent time on the beach in North Shore & it was way less crowded than Waikiki beach.

It was another amazing trip & I’m seriously already trying to figure out when I can go back!! It is such a gorgeous place to visit & relax. 

Canada Recap

Hi guys!! 

This post is a long time coming. In case you didn’t know, I went to Canada this summer! We spent time in Vancouver & Victoria. Both places are so beautiful! 

We started our trip from Washington, driving through the border & then staying in/near Vancouver. I honestly can’t quite remember details like that because we were all over the place!  But I know we took a fair amount of ferry rides, & that was super cool (& cold). In Vancouver, we went to Stanley Park. It’s a beautiful park right in the heart of the city! It’s a great place to walk, bike, run, picnic… whatever! It has great views of the city & is hugeee so you could honestly spend an entire day just exploring different parts of the park! 

Gastown, Vancouver is another great place to explore. The streets are literally cobblestone & wind up & down. There are a lot of little shops & Instagrammable streets. Gastown Steam Clock is a huge tourist attraction, & it sits right on the street corner. 

In Victoria, there is TONS to do!! We started our day at Habit Coffee in downtown Victoria. It was one of the top spots I found while browsing Pinterest for places to visit. I got a London Fog for the first time ever & it was sooo yummy. Then we made our way to Fan Tan Alley. I read somewhere it’s the smallest alley in the world! There are shops inside the alley, but it’s cool to just walk through, especially at night! 

As with most big cities, we visited China Town. There wasn’t a ton to see, but a lot of street markets & Chinese architecture. Fisherman’s Wharf is also a must-see!! There are FLOATING HOMES. Seriously the coolest, cutest things. The wharf has a lot of fun places to eat, & colorful buildings great for pics. At night, the city is honestly so sleepy, but the Parliament of British Columbia is really neat to see because it is lined with lights! Major home inspo honestly. 

We also made a stop at Beacon Hill Park, which is in the middle of the city, but you’d never guess! There were peacocks everywhere & it was the craziest thing I had ever seen! It is a great place for pictures if you can’t make it to Butchart Gardens. But I would HIGHLY recommend going to Butchart because there is endless Instagram potential. Also, more future home garden inspo. Half of my pictures from the trip were taken there! 

I was so excited to visit Canada because we’re neighbors lol but it was prettier than I could have imagined! I am for sure adding it to my list of fave places to visit. I want to go back & go to Banff!! 

Have you ever been to Canada? Let me know in the comments or DM me on social!

with love,

jazz

Pacific Northwest Travel Diary

Guys!! My travel vlog from this summer is finally up! I think it turned out really well. I can’t remember all the places we went, but Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, & Victoria are all for sure in this video. I love the PNW (I even got a candle that smells like the PNW forest at Pikes Place Market in Seattle) so making this video was so fun for me. Seattle is my favorite place to visit, & I’ll be adding Canada to that list after this trip. Anyway, enough from me! Enjoy!

with love,

jazz

Roadtrip Favorites

Hey guys!

Today I wanted to share my favorite products to use/bring on a road trip! I have a huge one coming up in a couple of weeks, so I’ve been preparing for awhile. 

Flying is just so expensive & there is so much more to see when you drive! The long hours are hard, & I age about 5 years every trip, but the memories are amazing. These products are what get me through it all!

I will link all of the products down below so you can get one of your own! 

Microfiber Neck Pillow

Xhilaration Casual Socks

AEO Lightweight Fleece Jogger

Purederm Collegan Eye Patches

Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones

ban.do Work it Out gym bag

Vans Old Skool Plus Backpack

That’s pretty much it! I like to take a backpack in the car with me as a carry-on with fuzzy socks, my charger, snacks (my favorite are Kind bars!) & a reusable water bottle. The neck pillow is the exact one I use, as well as the eye patches! They work amazing for getting those post-flight/long car ride under eye bags gone.

I hope this helps you guys be comfy & prepared for your next long trip! What are your favorite things to do on a road trip to kill time in the car? Let me know in the comments please!!

with love,

jazz

Hawaii Travel Diary

 

Happy Friday guys!!

The moment you all have been waiting for (or at least I have been)… my Hawaii travel vlog is up!! I’ve said it a billion times, & I’ll say it a million more, but it was such a fun trip & one of my best memories, so I’m excited to share it with you guys. What you see here doesn’t even do justice to how amazing Hawaii is & the awesome time I had!

Just as a disclaimer, because I feel the need, I am still new to this whole YouTube thing, so it won’t be the highest quality or anything crazy, but I’m hoping to only get better! I hope you enjoy it & feel free to subscribe to my YouTube for more travel videos!! (& maybe some others if I feel like it.)

with love,

jazz

 

Hawaii Recap

Hi guys!

I’m finally back!! Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long, but I had finals & then a super fun trip to Hawaii so I just decided to take a break from posts for a couple of weeks to get re-inspired & focus on other things. 

This post is going to be allll about my trip to Oahu, Hawaii! It was honestly such a dream & I would go back in a heartbeat. I was only there for one week, but I feel like I need a solid month to be able to see everything that there is to see.

We stayed downtown Waikiki, which is on the island of Oahu, close to Honolulu. Although I live in a city now, this city was nothing like Phoenix. For starters, we had a BEACH VIEW. It was so nice & I felt so close to everything.

As soon as I found out I was going to Hawaii, I got on Pinterest (typical) & looked up all the cool places to visit. We only had a rental car for one day, so unfortunately, we didn’t make it to North Shore or some of the other little towns nearby. If you ever go, try to get a car for a couple of days because there is so much to see outside of the city!! 

We took our rental car to Makapu’u Beach Park, which wasn’t too far from the city. You can bus there if you need to. (TheBus is how most people get around, but I would avoid it unless you HAVE to.) It was a small beach with lots of rocks & a view of a lighthouse. I felt like I was on the west coast with the rocky beach! It was so beautiful & the water was just so BLUE. I took all the other beach pics at another beach called Cromwell’s or Ka’alawai. I was really, really horrible at pronouncing all of the Hawaiian names lol.  

Another thing that we didn’t get to do, but would require a car ride, is the Sunrise Shack fruit stand, near North Shore. It looks so Instagrammable! 

One of the best things I think we did was hike Diamond Head. It’s a really famous hike that overlooks the entire city & the coast! It was so pretty, but very crowded. I took the jumping picture at the top of Diamond Head & may or may not have passed a No Trespassing sign to get it. Anything for the ‘gram amiright? 

There is a lot to do downtown Waikiki, so don’t worry if you don’t have access to a car! I still didn’t do everything there is to do. The Moana Surfrider beach side bar is the cutest place & has so many yummy drinks. (Especially if you’re over 21, which I am not.) :/ It feels like you’re in the south because the hotel style is like that of a southern mansion. There is a long porch with rocking chairs over-looking the ocean! Also, so much shopping!! The malls are open-air & unlike anything you’ve ever seen, I promise. The Ala Moana Center is huge & offers all the shopping you could ever want, plus we saw a hula show there! It has the coolest Japanese food court too with sooo much ramen!! The International Market is also a shopping center in the heart of Waikiki where I got shaved ice! The best shaved ice place is Island Vintage Shave Ice. I guess shave ice is a big deal in Hawaii so of course I had to try it & I was expecting it to taste like a snoh cone, but it was so much better! It almost had a sorbet texture & it was topped with fresh fruit. It would be super yummy on a hot day! (Also, P.S. it’s very humid in Hawaii.) 

Outside of the mall area, you can find Kona Coffee. There are several locations I think, but I went to the one at the Moana Surfrider hotel. I had to try it because I would definitely call myself a coffee lover. Kona is not the most Instagrammable place, but if you love coffee, I would try it. The best place for an Instagram & a drink is Olive & Oliver at the Surfjack hotel in Waikiki! It’s a boutique & coffee shop in one. The clothing is cute, & so are the lattes! Also, you need to try Banan! It’s a healthy ice cream place that makes ice cream out of bananas. It was really good, but normal ice cream is still better I think.

Last, but not least, my brother & I walked around Kings Village in downtown Waikiki. It is a small, European style village with tourist shops & Asian pop up shops. There are lots of good picture opportunities there. Also, Asian markets are a huge thing there & they are so intimidating! You have to bargain for everything because nothing has a price & it really scares me lol. But you can get stuff for cheap if you’re good at making deals!

I think that’s everything!! I’m also making a travel diary of my trip, so make sure to look out for that 😉 I hope you enjoyed this post & all of the pictures! It was by far one of my favorite trips ever & I loved telling you guys all about it! 

Have you ever been to Hawaii?? Let me know in the comments or DM me on social. 🙂

with love,

jazz

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Bikini Top – Tie Front Bralette Bikini Top

Bikini Bottoms – Tie Back High Waist Cheeky Bikini Bottom

 

California Travel Diary

Hi all!

I just got back from my spring break yesterday! I went to California for the first half with some friends & then spent the weekend in Flagstaff with Jacob.

Here is a little video documenting my trip! We went to Huntington Beach & I had never been to that part of California, but I loved it! This is also my first official YouTube video so I have no more excuses… right?

I apologize for any glitches or if you think it’s low quality… I’m new to this & learning along the way!

You can also find the video on my YouTube channel: Jaslyn Ravenscraft.

What are your spring break plans? Let me know in the comments!

with love,

jazz