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

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

Must-Visit Healthy Food & Wellness Spots in NYC

OMG HI.

Dancing for Donuts | Must-Visit Health Eating & Wellness Spots in NYC

I am back from one of the most epic, hectic and AMAZING trips to New York that I’ve had since I left in 2011! I initially went for my best friend’s bachelorette, which was an absolute, exhausting blast, and then stayed to see my family and friends!

I met up with some of my incredible blogger babes, caught up with friends from college, and got to visit some places that have been on my list for ages. I also threw an event alongside my friend Alyssa and a company called MyWellBeing, so full recap on that to come soon😊

Until then, I’ve rounded up 7 of my favorite wellness/healthy living spots from my trip and let me tell you guys, I miss them already. NYC is so much more wellness focused than it was when I was in college – it’s crazy! Let’s get into it😍

WTHN – Okay you guys, I finally did it, I got acupuncture for the first time!!! I’m so proud of myself, can you tell😂 I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous, but I’m willing to do pretty much anything to ease my back pain at this point. Plus, my friend Alyssa told me this spot was unbelievable, and she was RIGHT.

I actually have their “herbs” at home, which are supplements made with adaptogens, but I’m so glad I got to visit this gorgeous space in person. I think I might do a full post on my experience, but let me just say, this is the perfect place to go in NYC if you’re looking to experience acupuncture for the first time! It’s got the vibe of a super cool spa, they make you feel so comfortable, and the practice itself is super healing. 

Sundays Studio – If you’re looking for a non-toxic mani in the city, you HAVE to go to Sundays!! The ambiance is beautiful, the service is outstanding, and my nails looked SO good. I got a regular manicure with some nail art (so many cute designs and colors!), but they also do non-toxic gel manis, too! Can’t wait to go back here next time I’m in town.

Hu Kitchen – YOU GUYS. Omg I wish I could express to you how much I loved it here😭 I was fully planning on going back at least once more and just ran out of time, but please oh please make a point to go to this healthy food freaking WONDERLAND next time you are in NYC. They have so many insanely delicious options that cater to nearly any diet and their creations taste like actual heaven. I wanted to try one of everything, but I made my own bowl with their pork meatballs, pineapple and broccoli. I also tried their chickpea focaccia which was SO good!

Charley St. – This was my first stop in the city last week for a meetup with some my blogging friends and it did not disappoint! It’s an Australian café, which I know seem to be popping up all over NYC and LA, but you guys. The gluten-free banana muffin and banana bread for to DIE for. They also make a mean oat milk latté and some seriously gorgeous smoothie bowls!

Energi – My friend Alyssa and I actually held an event here last week (blog post on that to come very soon!), but it’s such a stunning space! I’m so grateful that we were able to use it. Energi is a wellness focused co-working space that’s opening very soon, but they actually have a workout studio right upstairs too that’s already open! Some seriously incredible teachers have classes there (that’s something to do next time!), but the cowering space is pretty epic too. Super bright, open, welcoming, and full of energy – pun intended.

Two Hands – Another Australian café (yep, I told you they were on the up and up!), Two Hands is a beautiful spot for breakfast! It’s slightly pricier than Charley St., but worth every penny. The scrambled eggs are ridiculous and they too have banana bread, but the star of theirs it the whipped mascarpone on top. I’m so glad I got to meet my friend Gracie here – you guys might know her as Hungry Blonde but her blog was the first I ever followed back in college😊

Humming Puppy – Not gonna lie, I would legit move into this studio. It is easily the most beautiful place I’ve ever practiced yoga in, but it’s also so much more than that. The entrance alone is magical and there’s coconut water waiting in beautiful mugs for you, but then the studio itself is unlike anything else I’ve stepped foot in. It’s huge and the mats are placed ready and waiting for you in a half circle moving outwards from the center of the room where the teacher stands and each row is tiered slightly higher than the one before it. They keep it dark and there’s an actual constant humming vibration throughout the room during the entire class. I don’t think I’ve ever felt energy like that before🙌🏻

Okay, okay, that one up there ^ is NOT a healthy foodie spot, but if you like donuts and you’re in NYC, you do have to hit up Dough Doughnuts ’cause they’re the size of your head and oh so fluffy😏

Well, there ya have it! Do you have any favorite spots that I missed?! I’m hoping to get back to NYC a bit more frequently now that I don’t have to worry about vacation days, so hit me with your best!

And, of course, have a very Happy Monday!

xo Jordan

Weekend Recap: East Coast Wedding + D.C. Adventures

Hi friends! We’ve got another weekend recap today ’cause your girl has been on the MOVE.

Weekend Recap: East Coast Wedding + D.C. Adventures | Dancing for Donuts

Yep, I went out of town AGAIN. And now maybe you can see part of my motivation for wanting to be my own boss…not enough vacation days😂

It’s a pretty big wedding year for us😂 (I suppose we’re just at that age) and  since we’re both from the east coast originally, it means that a lot of our weddings are out that way, too. The good part (since the 6 hours, cross country flights are definitely NOT the highlight), is getting to spend more time with our families!

Weekend Recap: East Coast Wedding + D.C. Adventures | Dancing for Donuts

We were able to fly into DC on a red eye last Thursday night and stay with Alex’s family the nights before and after the wedding, which was so nice!

Though we spent most of Friday trying to wake up after barely sleeping the night before, we did venture out during the day for a last-minute trip to Sephora, walk through Georgetown and lunch at Leopold’s Kafé. We also went out that night for Sonny’s Pizza and drinks with some of Alex’s friends and brother, but I didn’t actually snap any pics of that…sorry😁

Weekend Recap: East Coast Wedding + D.C. Adventures | Dancing for Donuts

Saturday morning, we picked up our rental car and drove up to Lancaster, PA for the wedding. It was for our friends Will and Justine from b-school at this beautiful venue called The Farm at Eagles Ridge. I didn’t take a ton of photos (sorry for being literally the worst blogger ever this weekend), but I snapped a few! The grounds were stunning, the band was amazing and the cake was AWESOME.

Weekend Recap: East Coast Wedding + D.C. Adventures | Dancing for Donuts

On Sunday, we joined people from the wedding for brunch before heading back to DC. Since the weather wasn’t amazing, we stopped by Union Market for a quick lunch and a treat. Alex’s favorite, and now mine too, is the smoked white fish salad at Neopol.

Weekend Recap: East Coast Wedding + D.C. Adventures | Dancing for Donuts

We shared a bagel with the fish and then a pb & j doughnut from District Doghnut. It was SO hard to choose, they all looked amazing, but I think we made the right choice!

Weekend Recap: East Coast Wedding + D.C. Adventures | Dancing for Donuts

Afterwards, we just hung out at home until Alex had a ton of his family and friends over for Chinese takeout and margs, aka the most fantastic way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo😂  One thing I love about Alex’s family is how welcoming they are – it’s always one big party over there and it’s always so nice to see everyone!! 

Weekend Recap: East Coast Wedding + D.C. Adventures | Dancing for Donuts

For our final day in DC, we actually fit in some exercise at a nearby gym, met some of Alex’s friends for lunch at Glens Garden Market (their salad plate is like $11.50 for a TON of amazing food), and banged out some work.

Weekend Recap: East Coast Wedding + D.C. Adventures | Dancing for Donuts

We were also spoiled enough to get some of our favorite cupcakes from Baked & Wired from Alex’s mom – if you haven’t had them, I swear they’re some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had…second only to Magnolia Market’s of course!

Weekend Recap: East Coast Wedding + D.C. Adventures | Dancing for Donuts

Also how CUTE is Alex’s dog?! It was his birthday yesterday!! We landed back in LA around 8:30pm, then went home and crashed. It’s safe to say we had a super fun, yet exhausting weekend. It’s always a good time back on the east coast, though😊

Be back soon, once I tackle my very terrifying inbox…thanks for stopping by💗

xo Jordan

Annual Family Ski Trip in Colorado (Photo Diary!)

Hey y’all! I’m back with a super quick recap from Colorado today in case you’re looking for some winter wonderland inspo (and aren’t totally sick of seeing snow yet😂)!

Every year, my family goes to Breckenridge for our family ski trip and it’s one of my absolute favorite places EVER. We’ve been going to Colorado since I was 5 or so and even though I first learned how to ski, I now snowboard! I did have to work a bit while I was there (since being an entrepreneur means no paid vaca😅), but I had plenty of fun and did some relaxing, too!

We got to see the qualifying rounds for the Burton U.S. Open in Vail, visited the Ice Castles in Dillon, and ate some incredible food. Keep on scrollin’ for photos from my favorite moments!

Breakfast at home – apple bread french toast with greek yogurt, mashed blackberries and banana
Dancing for Donuts | Annual Family Ski Trip in Colorado
Me, mom and dad at the top of Peak 6!
Dancing for Donuts | Annual Family Ski Trip in Colorado
They have Christmas lights in town pretty much all year ’round, I think😍
Dancing for Donuts | Annual Family Ski Trip in Colorado
If you’re looking for breakfast in Breck, you HAVE to go to
Columbine Café
Before heading down into the bowls at Vail – the snow was incredible all week!
Dancing for Donuts | Annual Family Ski Trip in Colorado
Half coffee/half hot cocoa – with whipped cream, of course!
Dancing for Donuts | Annual Family Ski Trip in Colorado
What is it about snow covered mountains that’s just so dang beautiful!?
The Ice Castles are a must-see if you’re in the area. There’s a slide made of ice that’s so fun to go down – I felt like a little kid!
Dancing for Donuts | Annual Family Ski Trip in Colorado
^ hi dustin!
Breakfast sandwiches from Clint’s in town – another favorite spot of ours! They have incredible coffee and pastries, too.
Dancing for Donuts | Annual Family Ski Trip in Colorado
Capturing the sunset!
Dancing for Donuts | Annual Family Ski Trip in Colorado
The Burton U.S. Open! It was our second time getting to see it and these guys blew my MIND. I’ll never be that cool…
Dancing for Donuts | Annual Family Ski Trip in Colorado

That’s all for now! This week is busy because I’ll be working the Natural Products Expo down in Orange County for 3 full days and a ton of my foodie/wellness friends are in town, so I might be checking out until the next one. Thanks for bearing with me😊

xo Jordan

7 Favorite Moments From the Mother of Fire Retreat in Maui

Aloha, babes! I am back from Maui and feeling so inspired, motivated, and grateful🌺

Dancing for Donuts | 7 Favorite Moments from the We Are Haumea Retreat in Maui

This post might be a long one, just because trying to sum up 5 incredible days in the most beautiful place surrounded by exceptional women is pretty challenging! But, I do want to tell you a bit more about the We Are Haumea Mother of Fire Retreat, which was originally organized by Joie Ruggiero, a Maui native, fitness instructor, and all-around stunning human being inside and out!

I was given the opportunity to participate in the Mother of Fire Retreat after meeting Joie last month at an event. I knew that with the timing of things to come (aka me launching my business!), going to Hawaii for a few days of fitness, fun, manifestation, empowerment, and connection was just what I needed to kick things off.

So, without further ado, let me share with you some of my favorite moments from my trip to Maui, Hawaii with We Are Haumea!

Dancing for Donuts | 7 Favorite Moments from the We Are Haumea Retreat in Maui

Athletic Geometry with Joie – You guys. If I had to pick a favorite workout of all time (that isn’t a dance class), it would have to be Joie’s class. It’s a combination of cardio dance and sculpting, and though it’s quite possibly the hardest workout I’ve ever done, it’s SO fun. Each move has a true purpose and helps sculpt more than one muscle group at a time, so it’s efficient, too. Joie teaches at ModelFit in LA and Alo Yoga too, if you’re in the area and ever want to go to her class!

Dancing for Donuts | 7 Favorite Moments from the We Are Haumea Retreat in Maui

Manifesting with Gwen – On our first full day of the retreat, we had our first workshop with Gwen, who was the vision and healing coach throughout our days in Maui. The first of her three workshops was my absolute favorite because we got to dive deep into what we see for ourselves in the future. We wrote down on paper who, what and where we want to be. Instead of writing these things down as “I want” we wrote them in present tense as “I am.” We then spoke these desires out loud to one another and somehow it made them feel more tangible, like there was no question that we could achieve each and every one of them. Afterwards, I felt like I could do ANYTHING, and still do.

Yoga with Elise – I can’t even tell you how sad I am that Elise is based in New York because I would literally take her yoga class every day! While her classes definitely call in strength and make you sweat, they also stretch and move the muscles in ways I don’t do very often. Her voice is incredibly soothing, she’s funny, kind, helps with poses if you need any adjustments, and really brings something unique to her practice. If you’re based in NY too, find her at any of the three Sky Ting locations! 

Dancing for Donuts | 7 Favorite Moments from the We Are Haumea Retreat in Maui

Getting to Know the Women – I truly think the best part of an experience like this is meeting the other people. It’s kind of amazing, but all 9-10 of us had incredibly unique backgrounds and yet had so many things in common, too. For example, Elise and I actually went to NYU at the same time and even have mutual friends. How crazy is that?! I just couldn’t have asked for a more incredible group of strong, powerful women to be surrounded by. Some were in their late 20’s or early 30’s like me, some were mothers, some were business owners and some were just trying to figure out what they wanted to do, but we ALL connected in a way I can’t even begin to describe.

Dancing for Donuts | 7 Favorite Moments from the We Are Haumea Retreat in Maui

Sunrise at Haleakala – So I’ve seen the sunrise at Haleakala before, but I can tell you that it is just as breathtaking the second time around (and probably the 3rd or 4th, too). We woke up at 4:45, drove up the mountain and caught the sunrise from the 3rd tallest mountain in the world at 7:05am. I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere else in the world – you’re high up above the clouds and the colors are just spectacular. If you’re lucky, the park rangers will be chanting in Hawaiian as the sun rises, but no matter what you’ll be able to see the incredible crater with deep red rocks once the sun has fully risen.

Exploring the Grounds at Lumeria Maui – Man did I try to take a photo beautiful enough to do this property justice, but I don’t think I even came close. Imagine the most lush place you’ve ever seen, add in some gorgeous red and purple plants, palms, and hibiscus flowers. Then include a few beautiful buddha statues, twinkle lights in the trees, an area with 4-5 hammocks, a great lawn and a stunning pool. Please just come visit this magical hotel if you ever get the chance! The food was to die for, too.

Dancing for Donuts | 7 Favorite Moments from the We Are Haumea Retreat in Maui

Beach Workout + Cleanup – This one was another super special moment to me. On day three, we did a bit of sculpting on Baby Beach, then spent about 40 minutes picking up micro plastic from the beach. At first you don’t even notice it (it almost looks like specks of colorful seaglass) but then you realize it’s EVERYWHERE – just tiny pieces of plastic that sea creatures like turtles can accidentally swallow littering the beach. Seeing how real this micro plastic problem is made me feel a bit helpless, but also motivated to reduce my plastic usage now that I’m back home. I’m also grateful that we had the opportunity to give back to the land we were visiting.

Well, if you made it the end of this post, you’re a rockstar and I can’t even begin to express how much gratitude I have for this platform and the incredible people it’s brought into my life. If you want more, you can watch my vlog from the trip below:

Thank you for reading and please let me know if the comments if you have any questions! I truly think anyone could benefit from attending a retreat like We Are Haumea – it truly is life changing!

xo Jordan

Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar

Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar

I know I’m a few days late, but HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Man, am I ready for 2019 you guys. I took a much needed 2-week break (from life, work, all the things) and while I feel a liiiittle bit behind getting back into things, I feel SO motivated and well-rested.

After spending a week at home in New York, my entire family and boyfriend went to the Bahamas to ring in the new year in Baha Mar! If you’ve never been there, it’s basically three gorgeous hotels rolled into one big resort property with a casino, convention center, pools, beaches, and more. I knew I would have fun going into it, but this place beyondddd exceeded my expectations! We had such a blast and I miss it already!

Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar

I won’t blab too much, but here’s a collection of photos I took while we were there! We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar and spent the majority of our time on the property eating their delicious food, soaking up the sun, exploring the grounds and relaxing. They also had an incredible gym that overlooked the property and even had some machines outside. Let me tell ya, those views alone were motivating😍

We were able to watch fireworks on NYE from my parents’ balcony, which was probably the most epic fireworks show I’ve ever seen in my life. They also have a sanctuary with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles, an area where flamingos live, and all the food trucks are actually air streams – it’s SO cool. You can even blend your own daquiri by peddling a bike, but I forgot to take a photo! Here are a bunch of photos I DID take, though…

Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar
Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar
Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar

Have you ever been to Baha Mar? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it!!! I wish we could’ve stayed an extra day, but maybe I’ll just have to go back😊

xo Jordan

Dancing for Donuts | Celebrating 2019 in Baha Mar

A Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs

“This post is sponsored by Palm Springs but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.”

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

My boyfriend and I have this tradition where before either one of us starts a new job, we go someplace to celebrate for a little getaway first. Our first trip was to Joshua Tree about two years ago, then there was Palm Springs last year for the weekend, Laguna Beach, and this year, even though we didn’t have time to do a big trip, we knew we wanted to do something different, something FUN. Turns out, Palm Springs is close enough to LA for a pretty solid day trip🌴

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

It’s only a couple hours each way (less if you don’t hit traffic, but good luck with that😉), and if you listen to a podcast/bring some snacks + coffee for the road, you’re good to go!

The day before we left, I did some quick research on where to go and used VisitPalmSprings.com as my main point of reference. Even though there are tons of places I know I already love there, I wanted to take this trip to find some hidden gems and cool local businesses. Turns out, there are LOTS of those in Palm Springs. It’s seriously the coolest and so, so beautiful. Here’s how our spontaneous little getaway went down…

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

The Broken Yolk Café

Our first stop on the trip, The Broken Yolk Café is literally all the things I want in a morning: a diner-esque ambiance, incredible service, huge portions of delicious food, and free refills on coffee. We splurged BIG time and got eggs benedict, a skillet with chorizo, and buttermilk pancakes. The skillet and pancakes were standouts, for sure.🙌

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Moorten Botanical Garden

This was probably my favorite part of the entire day, just because it was something so different! They give you a map at the beginning so you know what you’re looking at, which I love, and there’s so much to see both outdoors and indoors. The indoor cactarium is especially stunning because there SO many different types of plants. I recommend walking around it super slowly to really notice all it has to offer!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Next up – shopping!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Just Fabulous

After breakfast, I wanted to walk around and visit some of the cute shops in the area. If you’ve never been, Palm Springs has a pretty vibrant downtown area with all kinds of little boutiques and even some bigger stores, now that it’s becoming more developed! I knew I wanted to go to Just Fabulous – they have the CUTEST stuff. They were actually decorated for Christmas too, so they had a bazillion pretty & colorful ornaments! There were donuts, cereal bowls, popsicles, all kinds of things, but since we don’t actually have a tree here, I couldn’t justify the purchase😅

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Thick As Thieves

Another adorable shop, Thick as Thieves is really my style. It’s just…COOL. It’s one street over from the main one and the vibe is like…bohemian hipster, if that makes sense. I honestly wanted everything. They had some ceramics, local crafts, cute clothes, hats, crystals, jewelry, the works! I’ll 100% be back – it’s a great place for gifts, too!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Kreem

This adorable ice cream shop was the last place we hit in Palm Springs before heading home for the day. The inside is beautiful, but they have the coolest flavors! I tried the vegan coconut and peppermint latté, but ended up going with the latter. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am obsessed with peppermint lattés, so I had to do it! Alex had the raspberry cheesecake I think – that one was incredible, too!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Other Places in Palm Springs I Love:

Ice Cream and Shoppe – A ridiculously Instagram-worthy ice cream shop attached to a cute boutique hotel. I remember their birthday cake ice cream being one of the best things on the planet.

Koffi– Alex and I went here for coffee and breakfast one morning last time we were there! The vibes are awesome, the breakfast sandwiches are tasty and reasonably priced, and the coffee was delish!

El Jefe at The Saguaro– We came here for late afternoon drinks before dinner once and the margaritas were fantastic!! I loved checking out the hotel afterwards, although I probably wouldn’t stay there during a busy time…lots of partying😅

Cabazon Outlets – So we actually DID hit the outlets on the way home this time, I just didn’t take any photos of our shopping! Alex needed a new wallet and even though I held back (go me for having willpower for once💪🏼), the sales were fantastic. They have a ton of good stores and it’s a good place to stop on the way home!

Dancing for Donuts | Spontaneous Day Trip to Palm Springs!

Talk about a jam packed day, huh?! It was SO much fun, I honestly didn’t want to leave and am already trying to plan our next trip back. If you’re in the LA area, or even if you’re not, I highly recommend checking out Palm Springs for a relaxing and fun little trip with your family, partner, or even solo! You can also head to VisitPalmSprings.com if you need any more inspo on what to do, see, eat, or even where to stay😊

xo Jordan

Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

Hi friends!! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday (if you’re in the U.S., that is!) ❤️

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

I spent Thanksgiving in Colorado this year for the first time ever! Since my brother is now married and my grandmother is no longer with us, my parents and I decided it would be fun for the three of us to meet sort of in the middle of LA and NY. Colorado is also one of our favorite places EVER (if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you already knew that😉).

Although we were only in Colorado for about 3 and a half days, I documented as much as possible so that I could share our trip with you. Most of this post is going to be photos, just fyi, but here’s a peek into some of my favorite places – Colorado is SO magical, you guys. I want to move there someday!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

Thanksgiving dinner! My mom wanted to make a full dinner, even though we were just in a rental condo! She did such an amazing job – my favorites were the kale salad, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

She also made a pumpkin pie, but we didn’t have a pie pan so we used a Pyrex dish and it actually turned out amazing😂

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

We went out to breakfast on Black Friday morning before hitting the outlets!! I didn’t actually photograph that because I inhaled it, but we love Columbine Café. Their biscuits are to die for!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

Half hot cocoa/half coffee with my new Williams Sonoma snowman marshmallows!! I also threw in some of my Ancient Nutrition collagen (they come in handy travel packs!).

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

We also went to the gym a couple times and I did some light weightlifting! I used to be such a cardio bunny up until this year, and I’m really liking weightlifting. I’m surprised at myself!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

And even got massages – it was SUCH a treat. I am the most spoiled person ever.

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

I used a $10 Lush bath bomb and tuned my bath pink…worth it? Probably not. But it made for a fun photo to edit😅

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

^ Pre-flight brunch on Sunday at Brasserie Ten Ten in Boulder!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

And then one last selfie – saying goodbye is so much easier when you know you’ll see each other again in just a month!!

Dancing for Donuts | Thanksgiving in Colorado: Weekend Recap

As for Colorado? See you in the spring! P.s. We stay at the Grand Lodge on Peak 7 – it’s the BEST.

Where did you guys spend the holiday?! I don’t know about you, but I’m already counting down until the next one!! Less than a week til Hanukah and a month til Christmas!🎄

xo Jordan

My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina)

Well, another week in the Outer Banks with friends and family has come and gone. Truth be told, they always go by way too quickly.

 Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

This year was a little different – we came a bit later than usual because my brother’s wedding was the day before, my parents left early for a family emergency, and I worked most of the time we were there, but it still felt like the re-set I needed and the perfect way to cap off summer. I’ve been coming to the Outer Banks since I was about 5 years old and it’s still easily my favorite place in the world. It’s the place where I feel instantly relaxed and always make the best memories. It feels like home.

I wanted to share some of the photos from our trip and I know the past few posts on here haven’t been too substantial, but they’re more just a peek into my life! I’ll have some of my favorite places to eat/visit/explore listed at the bottom as well, in case you want to plan a trip there or know someone who is! I guess you can think of this as a mini photo diary and travel guide to the Outer Banks. It really is an incredible place and if you ever get the chance to go, please tell me and I will meet you there. jkjkjk but no seriously…

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

Food:

Steamers – Incredible seafood & the best clam chowder!

Roadside – One of our two all-time favorite restaurants in OBX, casual but slightly more elevated with amazing food

Lighthouse Bagels – The. Best. Bagels.

Big Buck’s Ice Cream – A MUST. No literally, you have to go. I crave their peanut butter cups and fudge all year round.

Metropolis – The other restaurant that’s tied for first, amazing tapas with unique flavors and dishes, something for everyone

Tomato Patch – We get pizza from here our first night every. Single. Year.

First Light – Our go-to breakfast place! The biscuits are out of control.

Ocean Boulevard – Definitely on the fancier side, but so delicious and perfect for a special night out!

Kill Devil Grill – Get the crab cakes and the wings, then thank me later.

Activities:

Coastal Explorations – Where we went SUP boarding this year in the sound! They have the best prices I’ve found so far.

Whalehead Club & the Lighthouse – We used to watch July 4th fireworks here, and it’s also a beautiful place for a wedding! Or honestly just a run, picnic, etc.

Wild Mustangs on Carova Beach – If you have a car with 4-wheel drive, you MUST do this. You basically just drive all the way up past Corolla and the Whalehead Club and the road will stop. This is the only place you can drive on the beach and it’s where the horses live! Go at sunrise, you won’t be disappointed.

Dancing for Donuts | My Happy Place (Outer Banks, North Carolina Travel Guide)

And if you want to rent our house, you can find it here!

Okay I’ll stop boring you now. Let me know in the comments if you like posts that have more photographs like this and hope you’re all having a great September so far!

xo Jordan