The Hobbies I Almost Forgot About

This post is sponsored by Wente Vineyards but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

When was the last time you spent an hour doing something that wasn’t work, prepping for the day or week ahead, chores, working out, or taking care of someone else? Are you someone who’s turned their passion into their business like me?

I feel like in 2019, it’s getting harder and harder to get away from work, whether it’s because we’re hustling or even working in an industry like social media where our life IS our work. If that’s you (it’s me, too), I think it’s important for both of us to remember to make time for our hobbies that bring us joy and have absolutely nothing to do with making money.

If I’m being honest, there are a lot of things I do that feel like hobbies but also help me in business – like listening to entrepreneurial podcasts, cooking/baking, editing photos, writing, etc. However, since these are now my job, they come with their own set of stresses that hobbies that are *just* hobbies do not.

Some of the things I used to love when I was younger were knitting, drawing, journaling, coloring, reading and sewing. You guys, I used to knit up a STORM – it was so much fun, you could make all kinds of things and it was cool to see your work create something tangible! My mom and I would grab a cup of tea or glass of wine, and sit down to knit together when I lived at home😊

I also used to read SO much, especially in the summertime! I could read 3-4 books in just a week-long vacation, but why do I need to be on vacation to do that? And coloring – there’s a reason that coloring books were so trendy a few years ago! They’re good for soul and are so much fun. Plus, none of them have to do with being on a phone or computer – the key to truly unplugging and doing something that brings me joy!

Honestly just writing this is getting me excited to sit down, open a bottle of white, and hop in the tub. I might color or read, and then when I get out, I think I’ll get back to knitting the baby blanket I’ve been working on for my dog (yep, you heard that right😂).

So, now I’m taking a 21 Day Pledge with Wente Vineyards to make time for my hobbies no matter what. Since it takes 21 days to form a habit, they’ll keep you accountable by sending tips, ideas and inspiration that can help you lead a more fulfilling life.

I know for me personally, taking this pledge and making my priorities a hobby may mean less time growing my business or out with friends, but it also means that I’ll be happier because hobbies = self care.

Wente Vineyards is actually the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery (founded in 1833) and is California certified sustainable, using earth-friendly practices throughout their estate vineyards, winemaking practices and in the community. Not to mention this Chardonnay is one of my absolute favorites😍

So will you take the Wente Vineyards 21 Day #MakeTime Pledge with me? I think we could all really use a bit more time to focus on what makes us happy, whether that’s getting back to our hobbies, spending more time with loved ones, traveling, or experience life to the fullest!

If you’d like to sign up, head to Wente Vineyards to take the #MakeTime Pledge and don’t forget to tell me in the comments what you’re making time for!

xo Jordan

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW #5)

It’s been almost a YEAR since my last #WIAW. How crazy is that?!

In you’re not familiar, a What-I-Ate-Wednesday (or #WIAW) post is super old school food blog status, but I think it’s making a comeback in other formats like Instagram stories and YouTube! Either way, I’m here for it.

I only like to share these because I hope it gives you not only a peek into my day-to-day, but also some ideas! These posts are never meant to make you feel like your eats are good or bad, better or worse, just to give inspiration. Every body is different, every body’s tastes are different, and that’s okay😊 And, just so you know, I don’t count calories or macros or anything like that, I just try to eat as many real, whole foods as I can!

And on that note, here’s a look at everything I ate on Monday of this week!

7:30am – Collagen Coffee. ‘Nuff said (kind of)…I use a French Press and this milk frother to make the absolute perfect coffee every single morning. I also add in whatever non-dairy milk I have on hand, a scoop of Ancient Nutrition Joint Health Multi-Collagen in Vanilla plus a few shakes of Pumpkin Pie Spice. I also added a tsp of Lakanto Maple Syrup in this one and it was SO good! P.s. I drink my coffee with a straw for teeth-whitening purposes!

8:45am – Since I had to take my car in for service this morning, my eats are a little off, but that’s okay! I brought a Naturally Clean Eats bar to have before I got home because I knew I would get hangry.

10am – I usually eat breakfast at 9am, but since I had that snack earlier, I was able to hold off until a bit later! I had to take a photo for a brand, so I made this yogurt bowl with puffins, figs and peanut butter. Most days I’ll have a smoothie, but I love these bowls, too!

1pm – Lunch was that salad up top with arugula, peach and goat cheese topped with 2 jammy eggs on the side (unpictured, sorry about that!!) and a handful of candied walnuts. That salad has been my go-to lately – I’m obsessed with fruit in salads!!

3:30pm – Snack time! I just needed a little crunch while I was working so I broke out some Off The Eaten Path veggie crisps! I’m obsessed with these, and I’m not usually a savory snack person🙈 I also made a water with True Lemon in Lemon Raspberry because sometimes I just don’t want plain water…I know that’s weird!

6pm – When my bf is traveling, I tend to have dinner on the earlier side! I made myself some Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi (sautéed with ghee) and added in Nuovo Pasta’s portabella and truffle pesto plus a side of steamed broccoli with lemon and sea salt. Also yes, Ovi is in most of my food photos now😂

7:30pm – Dessert was (half) a Lily’s Chocolate bar, if I’m being honest…probably could’ve eaten less, but it’s so dang good and it’s made with stevia, so I feel like it’s okay to eat that much sometimes. I also had a spoonful of a new peanut butter I got from Fix & Fogg because my willpower is at zero…😅

And there you have it! I probably snuck a few other handfuls of nuts or veggie crisps or something, but that’s pretty much all of it. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see more of these posts – I don’t often food journal so sometimes it’s fun to look back and see what I ate! I’ll link my old posts below.

xo Jordan

#WIAW #1

#WIAW #2

#WIAW #3

#WIAW #4

5 Easy Things I Do Every Morning for Better Health

Do you have a morning routine?

I wouldn’t say I really do, aside from making sure to let my dog out, check my phone and make my coffee, but there are a few things I love to do every single day that make me feel better both mentally and physically!

I like to preach that health is a lifestyle, it’s not all or nothing, a diet or cleanse, but there are always easy changes we can make to be at our best. I honestly look forward to most of these things and try to do them whether I’m traveling or at home! They give me energy, bring me joy and help get me organized (a feeling I thrive off of!). Some might even say they’re a bit of self-care😊

I start the day with things that inspire me. I always, always make coffee first thing and take time to read my favorite blogs, check out Pinterest, or watch my favorite YouTube channels. While I do love to hop on Instagram at some point, sometimes it can overwhelming and set my day off on a hectic note. The comparison trap is real🙈

I drink water. A lot of it. I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read about people starting their day off with warm lemon water, but the one thing that gets me excited to start my day is coffee…so sue me💁🏻 But! What I’ll do is make my coffee and have that, but sip water on the side – at least large glasses before 9am! I’m always thirsty anyway (LA is *dry*), so it’s not like it’s hard, but I also think it just gets your body in gear for day.

I make a smoothie packed with the goods. You guys I swear by these – a smoothie is hands down the easiest way to get a load of nutrients that also taste like dessert. I try to keep the amount of fruit to 1/2 cup or less and pro tip: frozen bananas make smoothies extra creamy! I also like to add in spinach, a mix of almond mix and water, protein powder, and the Probiogen Smoothie Booster with probiotics and the equivalent of an entire multivitamin. It contains 20 vitamins and minerals plus probiotics for digestive health – which I think we could all use help with!

I take a probiotic. Lucky for me, the Probiogen Smoothie Booster already has probiotics in it, but if I don’t have a smoothie for some reason, or am traveling (which I have been a LOT), it’s much easier to just take capsules. I won’t travel anywhere without them and when I’m home, I just keep them right next to the coffee maker so I’m always reminded to take them!

Probiogen has two different kinds of probiotics that I LOVE: their Stress & Mood Balance Probiotic and Women’s Vitality Probiotic that both use Smart Spore Technology, which helps the probiotics survive 100x better (yes, they do die!). Right now, I’m mostly taking the Women’s Vitality since it also contains Cranberry and DDS-1 that aid urinary and bacterial health.

I plan out my day and prioritize deliverables. This is my last step before sitting down to really start the work day and it does wonders! I swear by a planner and written out list of to-do’s, and start with the ones that are due first. Some people like to use Google Calendar or different apps, but I love manually checking off what I’ve accomplished! Such a Virgo over here😂

And that pretty sums up my mornings! And if for some reason I forget to take my probiotics first thing, I just try to take them at some point in the day. I think one of the reasons I love Probiogen so much is because having that powder to put in my smoothies makes all of that nutrition so much easier to remember since it’s all in one! You can find their products on their website, as well as at retailers like GNC and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

What about you, do you take a probiotic?

xo Jordan

This post is sponsored by Probiogen, but all images & opinions are my own.

A Not-So-Typical Day in the Life

I’ve second-guessed what day it is at least 6 times this week, it’s fine…😂

This week is kind of odd for me since I’m actually heading out of town for my best friend’s wedding Thursday morning. And I’m writing this post on Tuesday night, the 5th, because I’m just having a moment where I feel super freaking grateful for the life I’m living…do you ever get that way? Don’t get me wrong, things are so far from perfect right now, but today was one of those days where I felt like I was moving in the right direction. So I want to share it with you!

So everyday (including today) I wake up between 6:30 and 7am and let my pup out! I start work pretty much right away, which I know isn’t great wellness wise, but since I’m on California time, that means I’m already 3 hours behind everyone else on the west coast. In other words, I have extra catching up to do on social platforms and emails. Luckily all my clients right now are on PST too, but they all are early risers so we get stuff done first thing!

After doing some work, drinking my collagen coffee, posting this recipe on Instagram, and getting all ready for the day, I went up to an event in Bel Air with Peach & Lily, a non-toxic Korean skincare company that I am now obsessed with!!

I literally have no idea how they found me, it was a super small, suuuuper fancy event at a mansion with all these big time influencers, but it was easily the nicest event I’ve ever been to. It was nuts🙈

I learned so much about their products, too – everything is 100% worry free (meaning allergen and toxin free) and they work with an in-house toxicologist to develop them, too. He was actually there explaining more about the ingredients, which was really interesting! I actually used to work at a skincare company, so I looooove that stuff.

Once I got home, I made myself an iced coffee (I know, I’m addicted), some snacks, and got back to business…with some Ovi playtime in between, of course. Since he can’t go out on walks yet, he gets soooo much energy after I pen him in while I’m gone!

If you guys don’t know, my main job is being a social media consultant to women-owned and run businesses through my company DFD Creative, and my responsibilities/deliverables with each client can vary quite a bit, so everyday is different. This week I’m focusing on content creation and influencer outreach, for the most part! It’s fun😊

And since I’m not working out right now because of my back (I’m dealing with pretty severe pain that not even the spine specialist can figure out😑), I decided to go to a new infrared sauna to see if that would help! I’m not sure if my muscles feel any better, they’re unbelievably tight, but it was suuuuper relaxing. Maybe someday I’ll have one of those in my non-existent house…

Once I got home, I finished up my outstanding work for the day, ordered a salad from Sweetgreen since we’re low on groceries, and sat down to write this post!

I know nothing too crazy happened today, but I just feel very lucky to have a job with flexibility, creativity, and excitement. Is this what I’d pictured for myself 10 years ago? No, not even 5 years ago, but it’s pretty damn great.

So thanks for being here, I appreciate you always❤️

xo Jordan

Friday Finds

Hay Friday! So happy to see you😍

I LOVE Fridays you guys. I know not everyone’s jobs are like this, but for me, most of my client work gets done by Thursday (not always, but usually) so Fridays I get to focus on blogging/recipe creation. It’s my happy time!

But before I really dive into my day, I just wanted to share some Friday Finds with you since it’s been a minute! Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

Blueberry Maple Oat Cups – Soooo admittedly this is my recipe and I fully planned on doing an actual blog post for it, but time got the best of me and I ended up just sharing it on Instagram🙈 If you’re not an IG user, you can just screenshot the recipe on your phone – so sorry if that’s annoying!

How the Humble Banana Became the Latest Healthy Go-To Ingredient – It’s kind of funny because I didn’t actually notice this, but it’s so true!! Bananas are in everything now and I’m so here for it. They’re my favorite fruit!

Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes and Peaches – Well I know what I’LL be making this weekend, what about you?

5-Minute Express Butt & Thighs Workout – You guys, Erica is my GIRL. I’ve known her for 7 years now and she’s not only an angel, but her workouts are killer and FUN. I love that this one is only 5 minutes, it’s perfect for a lazy day or finishing off some cardio!

Creamy Banana Bread Chia Seed Pudding – Yep, more bananas😂 This does sound pretty incredible, though. I’ve been loving chia seed pudding!

That’s it for today y’all, now go out and enjoy your first weekend of August!!

xo Jordan

Currently… (& July Favorites)

A friend told me that July felt like it both FLEW by but also lasted 10 years…I think that’s pretty accurate.

Current Summer Favorites | Dancing for Donuts

I’m super ready for it to be August, partially because it’s my birthday month (helloooo 30!) and partially because I’m heading back to the east coast at the end of it!

I’ve been wanting to switch up the way I do my monthly favorites for a bit now (remember when I tried the video thing? Did anyone like that?), so we’re trying something new today. Here are some things that I’ve been eating/using/doing on repeat, so I guess you could just call them my favorites😂

CURRENT…

Breakfast on repeat… Green smoothies, yogurt bowls, and Alpen muesli – all day, everyday baby👏🏻 I’ve been adding in either Nuzest Protein (code DFD15 to save moolah), or LivWell Coconut Protein to my smoothies. Both are vegan! For the muesli, I just add almond milk and then top it with fruit/coconut.

Snack in my purse at all times… Naturally Clean Eats bars, Eat Like a Woman Chocolate Brownie bars, Fruit Bliss Bites, and Split packs. All pictured above!

Makeup routine… I honestly don’t wear much makeup these days since summer is so sweaty anyway, but if I do, I always use my Intelligent Elixirs Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (the coverage and finish are absolutely beautiful), Mineral Fusion Lengthening Mascara, and my Too Faced Natural Face Palette. I’ll finish it off with this gorgeous Tower 28 Lip Jelly!

Workouts… a steady mix of yoga at YogaWorks or Sweat Yoga, pilates at Pilates Platinum, Bünda, and steady-state cardio at home on the elliptical (while watching HGTV, duh).

Self-care routine… I’m thinking I might do a more in-depth blog post on this, but lately I’ve been keeping things simple – having a dance in the party in the shower with good music, a candle and using my favorite body lotion from Nécessaire afterwards (code JORDAN10 to save $$). I’ve also been watching a fair amount of TV, but also reading. I think both are okay😊

Show I’m binge-watching… The Bold Type (although I just caught up😥), Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things (well we already watched that one, but I honestly might watch it again), and Euphoria. UGH please watch Euphoria it’s unreal and I have the biggest girl crush on Zendaya.

Must-have home product… because #puppymom😂 Branch Basics sent me their incredible green cleaning products and they’ve been a godsend since Ovi licks everything and we’ve been cleaning our floors/doing a TON of laundry! They essentially have one multi-purpose cleaner concentrate that you mix with water – so convenient!

Song I’m overplaying… Still not over Beyoncé’s Homecoming album #sorrynotsorry, the new Lion King soundtrack and lots of country music, specifically Kelsea Ballerini! Country makes me think of summer, is that weird? Also I’m fully aware of how different those two artists are😂

What about you guys? What have you been loving lately?

xo Jordan

Golden Milk Carrot & Banana Donuts (Vegan)

Listen, I used to hate turmeric, too.

I still do sometimes, depending on what it’s mixed with, but let me tell you, with the right combination of flavors it can be SO good and so good for you. I wanted to bake this week, but coming off of vacation I figured I should health-ify it, so that’s where these donuts come in!

They’re vegan, low in sugar and are packed with a ton of nutrients. It’s also mostly made in a food processor, which is great for all my busy and lazy babes (or is that just me😂). You can also totally make these in a muffin tin if you don’t have a donut pan, although this one is my favorite!

Golden Milk Carrot & Banana Donuts

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour*

2 tbsp ground chia seeds

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

2 packs of Pranayums (or 2 tsp turmeric w/a pinch of black pepper & ginger)

1 cup baby carrots or chopped in 1in pieces

1 medium banana, ripe

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

coconut butter for drizzling (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and spray a donut pain with coconut or avocado oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients including flour, chia seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and Pranayums/spices.
  3. In a food processor, add the carrots, banana (can break in half to fit in there), milk, vanilla and coconut.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine completely.
  5. Pour into the donut pan (I fill mine nearly to the top!) and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the donuts are slightly firm to the touch and starting to get golden.
  6. Let cool completely before removing from pan. If using coconut butter to frost, put a few tablespoons in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften before drizzling on the donuts with a spoon or knife. *Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Hope you have an amazing weekend!! It’s almost AUGUST already, what the heck?!

xo Jordan

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai’i

Hello hello!! We’ve just come back from a glorious 9 day trip to Hawai’i and I have to tell you, I think it might just be my favorite island out there.

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

It’s funny, when I was researching what to do and where to go, I was surprised to find that there wasn’t much out there! The best recommendations came from word of mouth and I’m here to change that in case you want to venture out there (which you should) and need something to reference!

I think the thing I love most about the Big Island is that it’s like a million different places in one and it’s FASCINATING. One side of the island is sunny and dry and the other is like a rainforest, plus you add in the lava flows that formed the island and continue to do so – it’s just unbelievable and there’s SO much to see. It’s also far less developed than say Maui or Oahu, which makes the vibe a big more low key and perfect for a relaxing vacation.

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

Here are some super important things to note before you plan your trip:

  • There are two airports you can fly into and out of: Kona (the more touristy side) and Hilo, though the latter offers far fewer flights and airline options
  • Rent a car. There really is no other option, and you wouldn’t want there to be because the drives on the Big Island are some of the prettiest drives I’ve ever been on, not to mention that everything is quite far from one another!
  • You’ll want to spend more time on the Kona side simply because there’s more to do, more beaches to visit, better snorkeling, more food options and less of a chance of rain!
  • But definitely don’t go all that way and miss out on the Hilo side where you’ll find things like Volcanoes National Park and some incredible waterfalls.

I’m going to go ahead and break this guide into two sections corresponding with each side of the island! Keep scrolling for things to see, do and eat no matter where you find yourself.

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

KONA

Where to Stay: We spent our time up at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel which was insanely stunning, so shoutout to boyfriends who get the hookup with travel points😂 I couldn’t recommend this property more (the beach was my favorite) but the Kailua-Kona area & Waikoloa are also beautiful! There are more options on this side of the island for resorts & Airbnbs.

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

What to Do: You MUST go to Snorkel Bob’s and rent snorkel equipment as soon as you hit the island, this is a non-negotiable. Bob himself will give you tons of resources for where to snorkel and I can assure he’s right about every single one. For $50, we rented top notch snorkel gear for the week and were able to see incredible sea creatures for that low cost!

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts
  • Snorkel in Caption Cook – hands down our favorite moment of the entire week. We kayaked from a friend’s house over to the Captain Cook monument, got out to go snorkeling, and immediately saw a reef shark. It felt like Planet Earth and it was AWESOME.
  • Visit Hapuna Beach – and snorkel there, too! It’s one of the only white sand beaches on the island (aside from Mauna Kea) and it’s beautiful.
  • Hike Down the Pololu Trail – please don’t miss out on this! The view is breathtaking and the hike down/back up is super rewarding because the beach at the bottom is beautiful. You’ll be able to see a bit down the coast, too! On your way home, stop in Hawi, the artisan town nearby.
  • Lay Out on Waialea Beach – which is also a great snorkeling spot! This was one of our favorite beaches because the layout of it is really cool. Lots of rocks, cool trees, and locals!
  • Watch the Surfers at Magic Sands Beach – as long as the waves are big! Otherwise you can swim in the water yourself, although we were there during a huge swell, so we sat that one out.
How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

Where to Eat: We ate breakfast at our hotel everyday because the buffet breakfast was included and it was UNREAL (again, highly recommend the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, wish this were sponsored😂), but we did manage to stop at some other delicious places for lunch and dinner!

  • Basik Café – a must for delicious açai bowls!! It’s above the Snorkel Bob’s in the southern part of the island by Magic Sands Beach/Kona
  • Under the Bodhi Tree – we happened to get açai bowls here too, but I can confidently say the rest of their food is incredible. We were drooling over the menu and wish we’d brought a bigger appetite! Regardless though, this was hands down the craziest smoothie bowl of all time🙌🏻
  • Daylight Mind – this café in Kailua-Kona blew us away! The food was unbelievably fresh, their coffee was fantastic, and the prices were great!
  • Big Island BrewHaus – this was the only place we ate at twice because we were THAT obsessed with it. Their food is incredible (I miss it, honestly) and the beer is great, too. It’s up in Waimea, so potentially a hike depending on where you’re staying, but so worth the trip!
  • Pueo’s Osteria – we ventured here for a slightly fancier date night, but this plate is super cute and the food is fantastic! They make pizza and pasta in house, and definitely leave room for dessert.
How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

**One thing to note: If you’re driving from the Mauna Kea/Waikoloa area to or from Hilo like we did, you HAVE to stop at the Waipio Valley Lookout. It’s stunning and truly fascinating because people actually live way down in the valley where the history is rich. There is a hike, but don’t bother with it, we heard from locals that it’s gnarly! And definitely stop at the local fruit stand on the side of the road on your way out.

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

HILO

Where to Stay: There admittedly are not a lot of options hotel-wise on this side, but we stayed at the Grand Naniloa Hotel by Hilton right in town. What’s nice is that the few hotels that do exist are about a 5 minute drive into Hilo itself and another 5 to the airport! I would recommend this hotel for sure, but an Airbnb could also be great!

How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

What to Do: While Hilo isn’t exactly the most glamorous part of the island (it’s definitely where the locals all live), there is a TON to do. We got through pretty much all of it in two days though, so don’t feel like you need much longer than that.

  • Day Trip to Volcanoes National Park – this is up at the top of the list for a reason and it’s easily the most important thing you could do on the Big Island. It’ll cost you $25 to enter the park (but it’s good for a week) and there’s a TON to see. It’s all mind-blowing, trust me, and don’t forget to chat with the park rangers to find out what’s open/worth checking out. We spent about 4 hours here and it was a major highlight of our trip!
  • Rainbow Falls/PeePee Falls – both of these waterfalls are absolutely gorgeous and quite close to one another! Rainbow Falls actually has a little Banyan Tree forest right next to it as well, so definitely check that out.
  • Akaka Falls – there are two more waterfalls here and it’s a bit north of Hilo itself, but a must visit! Akaka Falls is actually 3x the size (depth wise) of Niagara Falls, which is insane. There’s a little hike here, but it’s nothing too crazy. Try to go before or after it’s midday and super hot.
  • Relax at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach – this beach is admittedly quite far away, so if you don’t hit it, it’s not a big deal, BUT it’s known for all the sea turtles that hang there (we saw two!) and it’s a super cool locals beach. The black sand is pretty mind blowing, too!
  • Hike the Onomea Trail – we almost stumbled on this trail accidentally and I’m SO glad we did. It’s right next to the Botanical Gardens (which are $25 a person, so no thank you there) but you can do a hike down to a few super remote, beautiful beaches!

Where to Eat: Again, there isn’t anything too fancy in Hilo, but that’s what I loved about it! We found some hidden gems and I was honestly really impressed with the food.

  • Moon & Turtle – I LOVED this place. Their menu is pretty small and changes daily based upon what’s available. Everything is locally sourced and unique. Not fancy, but great for a special night!
  • Conscious Culture – okay wait I LOVED this place, too😂 Their focus is also on local food, but with more of a hippie vibe. I had one of their nourishing bowls with sautéed veggies and rice, and added the goat cheese. Oh! Pro tip: always add the goat cheese. It’s probably made a mile from where you are on the island. This café is also home to Big Island Booch, so be sure to get a pint. It’s incredible.

Some things we didn’t get to do that maybe we would try next time:

  • Eat at Da Poké Shack, which everyone seems to rave about
  • Drive to the Green Sand Beach (but it’s faaaaar)
  • Spend more time in Waimea, which is a super cute “cowboy” town!
  • Visit a farmer’s market
  • Swim with the Manta Rays at night (all the tours were booked when we wanted to go, but it’s expensive!
How to Spend a Week on the Big Island of Hawai'i | Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

Well, there ya have it! That was a LONG one, so props to you if you hung in there. TLDR: Please visit the Big Island. It’s insane and I truly think it’s not spoken about enough!

xo Jordan

Friday Finds (and a Life Update!)

Okay so this life update is a couple of weeks old and most of you probably already know by now, but…

I have a puppy!!!! And his name is Ovi and he’s the best boy ever😊 He’s almost 10 weeks old now and he’s a black bi Aussiedoodle!! He was actually the runt of the litter too, so hopefully he’ll be in the 27-32 pound range. I just need to be able to travel with him so I can take him home for holidays!

He’s seriously the sweetest, so smart and so full of life. He’s a snuggle bug and I love him so much. If you’re obsessed with dogs (like me), you can follow him on Instagram because I’m a crazy pup mom and made him his own😂 It’s @ovithefloof

Other than that, I’ve just been trying to get ahead on work since we go to Hawaii TOMORROW! We’re somewhat irresponsible dog parents leaving our baby so soon, but we didn’t know we were going to have him obviously. Thank goodness for sweet friends who are going to watch him while we’re away!

And now, onto Friday Finds before I head back out of town because this summer is non freakin’ stop…

Peach Caprese Salad with Toasted Garlic Naan – Well this sounds lovely😍 Peach caprese is one of my favorites in the summer time!

Good Morning Coffee Lover’s Smoothie – So many of my favorite flavors in here! I have a smoothie for breakfast almost every single day and this is a good way to get that caffeine fix without the extra mug🙌🏻

Señorita Ab Routine – Maddie is one of my favorite YouTubers and I LOVE her workouts! She’s being doing workouts set to songs, which is fun since they go right with the beat of the music and only last a few minutes😅

A Budget You Can Actually Stick To – THIS. I work on my budgeting almost every couple of weeks (just because the nature of my work is all over the place) and I love the way this article breaks it down in a tangible way!

Sustainable Cookware That’s Less Than $100 – I just learned last year how bad our pots and pans can be for us AND the environment. I’m actually due for new ones so I think I’ll pick from this list!

Have a great weekend!!

xo Jordan

5 Reasons to Visit Bear Valley, California

Hey y’all! Did everyone have a good holiday weekend?

We got back last night after spending ours in Northern California with our pup at a friend’s cabin! It was our second time making the drive up there and man, I wish that place was closer. It’s SO beautiful and relaxing up there!!

We were in Bear Valley, California (not to be confused with Big Bear) and it’s funny because as awesome as it is up there, I feel like most people don’t know about it! Or, at least people from the SoCal region. It’s about 6.5 hours north of LA and east of Fresno, although if you go with a puppy, it may take a bit longer😅

Bear Valley and the surrounding towns have so much to offer, so keep on reading if you’re looking for a new place to explore on the west coast!

Bear Valley Mountain – This is probably the most well-known spot in the area because in the winter it draws a pretty decent skiing and snowboarding crowd! I actually came here on New Year’s Eve two and a half years ago and it’s a nice size mountain when the lower part of it is open! In the summer, there’s a ton of hiking and a nearby river you can canoe, kayak or SUP in. This time we hiked down what’s known as a double black diamond trail in the winter and then hiked up a catwalk. It was crazy to see what’s usually covered in feet of snow! And it was HARD. 

Wine Tasting – One thing I wasn’t expecting when we went up north for the weekend was how popular it is to go wine tasting in Murphys, the biggest (and cutest!) town on the way up to Bear Valley. It’s kind of like Santa Barbara in that there are just a bunch of tasting rooms on the main street, so it’s easy to go from one to the next! We consulted some locals and tasted a few bottles, but Hatcher and Aloria are highly recommended. If you go to Hatcher, be sure to grab a loaf of Todd’s freshly made sourdough, too!

Exploring Murphys – Aside from wine tasting, this town has a ton of great eats like V Bistro, Murphys Pourhouse (awesome beer selection and a huge outdoor section, too), and Alchemy, plus cute shops and some seriously tasty ice cream at Joma’s Artisan Ice Cream. If you bring your pup, they’ll even give you a little cup of their famous vanilla for them!! Ovi tried his first ice cream there and needless to say, he was a BIG fan.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park – If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors looking at some of the most beautiful Sequoia trees that ever existed, come here. It’s a huge park, I’ve been twice now and even though we visited two different areas, I’m sure you could come here 50 times and still have things to see. In the northern part, there’s a walking trail that we did during the winter (SO beautiful but very cold!) and this past weekend we did the 5-6 mile (easy) hike in the south part. It’s about $12 per car to enter the park, just fyi, but the beauty you see inside couldn’t be more worth it.

The Overall Vibe – Bear Valley is nothing like Lake Tahoe or Big Bear, it’s far quieter, much less built up, and draws a different type of out-of-towner! There are a ton of people with second homes that come from the Bay Area and from what I can tell, everyone is pretty low key, casual, outdoorsy and friendly. If you have the opportunity, I definitely recommend renting a cabin in the woods so you can enjoy some local wine and cheese on the porch, dip into a hot tub, and cozy up by the fireplace! And don’t forget to grab a fresh pie and/or cider donuts from The Red Apple on your way up😍

I feel like we have so much more to see and I’d love to snowboard on that mountain in the winter again, so I know we’ll be back soon! Where did you spend your holiday weekend?

xo Jordan