Saying Yes to the Big Things.

I don’t think many of you know this, but for about 5 straight years of my life, I worked almost every single weekend night.

Dancing for Donuts | Saying Yes to the Big Things.

It actually kind of started during my senior year of college when I’d decided to move to Los Angeles. I knew I needed to save money for my move, so I got a job hostessing on Friday nights at a restaurant in Manhattan. When I moved here to LA, my main sources of income were nannying and hostessing, as well, so that I would have time to audition during weekdays (and the funds to actually keep a roof over my head/food in my fridge). Between those two jobs, I worked every single Friday and Saturday night, and most Sunday nights as well, which meant saying no to having a life like most people in their early 20’s. Part of that, I’ll be honest, was due to me being a little too anal about saving money, but in my defense I wanted to save for rainy days or when gigs were few and far between…

Dancing for Donuts | Saying Yes to the Big Things.

That’s not the point of this post, though. The point is to tell you that the other day I was listening to one of my new favorite podcasts The Goal Digger and she was talking about how to graciously say no to things, people, events, etc. that don’t serve you. She also said that while you can’t say yes to everything (for your own mind and heart’s sake) you should absolutely say yes to the big things. What I took away from that is actually something I’ve been thinking about, and trying to do, for quite some time now.

Dancing for Donuts | Saying Yes to the Big Things.

I’ve spent more money on travel, food and drinks, adventures, and gas money to visit my friends in the past year than I ever have before. I’m probably making slightly more money as well, but the real reason is that I’m tired of not living my life. Our time on this planet is waaaaay to short to not try the restaurant we’ve been dying to eat at, visit the countries on our travel bucket lists, to let important relationships fade (or not create new ones), to miss out on events or trips we know will be a blast. For the first time in my life, I’m finally loosening up the purse strings, (as my mother would say) and enjoying life.

Dancing for Donuts | Saying Yes to the Big Things.

You will never regret a trip you took, or a weekend you spent creating memories with new friends in a new city, of that I can promise you. I went to my first multi-day music festival last weekend and it’s safe to say that my tired feet and slightly unsettled stomach from the fried food were absolutely worth it. And I don’t just mean the money, I mean the time and energy, too. I’m still exhausted 2 days later, but I’m going to have the memories of bobbing up and down to the Killers with my boyfriend, grabbing the best tacos I’ve ever eaten at midnight, and watching a new band (that I now love!) from backstage, for as long as my memory holds up.

Dancing for Donuts | Saying Yes to the Big Things.

So for all of you babes on a budget out there, and those of you who may not be fully living because you’re afraid of the calories in a cocktail, and even for those of you who feel like you don’t look as good in your outfit as you wanted to, find something better to spend your time thinking about. Because none of those things are worth missing out on your life.

Dancing for Donuts | Saying Yes to the Big Things.

xo Jordan

Friday Finds.

Happy Friday, friends!!

Dancing for Donuts | Friday Finds.

I’ve already lamented about how this week was a bit of a doozy, so let’s just cut to the chase (and some light reading for your weekend)!

10 Things to Always Have in Your Freezer – I literally didn’t know 1/3 of these things could be put in the freezer. GENIUS.

12 Healthy Travel Tips to Keep in Mind for Summer Adventures – Does anyone else get totally thrown off during vacation? Love that these help mitigate that!!

15 Vegan-Friendly Frozen Desserts – How are these all so beautiful?! And I seriously need to be making popsicles more often…

Tips for Getting More Done in a Day – PLEASE. My Netflix addiction always runs rampant in the summer months…

10 Simple Habits that Will Improve Your Life – Currently working on #’s 5, 8 + 10!

7 Budget-Friendly Places to Hit This Season – The wanderlust is real, y’all.

Have a beautiful weekend!

xo Jordan

 

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Hey y’all!! I’m baaaaaaack!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

I know every human says this but like, how friggin’ awesome would it be if we could just be on vacation forever, you know? Ugh, it was not easy coming back to reality after 5 days out of the office and playing catch up. Hopefully writing this post will transport me back to my Cabo mentality of lounging poolside sipping mojitos 🙂

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

We had such an awesome trip to Mexico that was the perfect combo of exploring and relaxing. If you’ve never been to Cabo before, it’s essentially 2 small cities about 45 minutes away from each other, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. The first is a much more touristy spot with a ton of restaurants and bars, sailing, water sports, and hotels, while the second is farther away from the hustle and bustle and lends itself to a much more laid back vibe (which in my opinion felt more authentic!).

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

We rented a car so that we could explore both and split our trip between a hotel in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. If you’re planning on visiting and don’t necessarily want to do the all-inclusive thing where you barely leave the resort, a car is must! Transportation to and from the airport alone can be an arm and a leg too, so we had flexibility and probably spent about the same amount. More on that later!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

I’m going to spare you most of the boring details of our trip and just give you the highlights! Consider this a mini travel guide in case you’d like to plan your trip to Cabo soon 🙂

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Where we stayed…

Playa Grande – Our hotel in Cabo San Lucas was just a 15 minute walk from all of the restaurants and shops, which was amazing! It was also on the beach, had a massive pool area and the food/drinks were delicious. They had great deals each day too, like 2 for 1 specials. We even lucked out with a top floor room and epic view, too 🙂 Our room was huge and had a balcony – I’d highly recommend this place! The only thing was that wifi (and the fitness center) weren’t included, but for $13/day it was worth it to be able to use our tech!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

JW Marriott – I literally don’t even have words for how gorgeous this hotel is. I know it’s more expensive during peak season, but this place was unreal. They re-did just a couple of years ago after a hurricane and it’s got a very modern feel but with warmth to it too, if that makes sense! The service was unbelievable and the rooms feel so luxurious. They all have balconies as well, and the views make you want to jump out of bed in the morning. With about a zillion infinity pools, amazing restaurants, and a swim-up bar, this place was everything we could’ve asked for. We’re already planning our next trip back!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Where we ate…

The Office – Ok so this place is literally on every Cabo travel guide ever, but it’s kind of just one of those places you have to visit if you’re in the area. The food is classic delicious Mexican food at a decent price, and it’s right on the beach. We actually ended up there on a Thursday night without reservations, and they have a full-on show on Thursdays (as far as I know!) with dancers, contests, and a band. We grabbed margs and guac at the bar while we waited for a table and then ate right on the beach. It was such a fun first night, I’d definitely put this one on your list!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Romeo y Julieta – Okay so this was one of our favorite meals of the whole trip. If you’re looking for a slightly fancier meal that’s not actually super expensive, this is where you’ll find it. The cocktails were so damn good and the food was incredible. From the caesar salad they make right at your table to the homemade pasta and then gelato to finish, this dinner was a standout. The service was stellar and they had a guitarist playing live music, as well.

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Cazuelas del Don – So good we went twice, this hole in the wall (even though it’s actually sort of outside so it’s not?) was unforgettable. It’s run by the sweetest couple ever and serves the most delicious food. Their tortilla soup is absurd and they make these dishes called “cazuelas” that are essentially clay pots filled with meat, vegetables and cheese that you can fill a tortilla with. I’m honestly kind of hungry again just thinking about it. Don’t even dare judge this place by it’s exterior, it is delicious.

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Habanero’s – Another great find in San Jose del Cabo, I bet this restaurant is absolutely packed during peak season. We margs to start and then split two dishes – the chile relleno and (don’t judge me) chipotle tequila bbq baby back ribs. And let me tell you, those ribs were bomb. I distinctly remember us saying we wanted to have a light dinner, but those two dishes were so worth it!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Flora Farms – I totally saved the best for last. Flora Farms is another one that’s on every Cabo travel guide, and for good reason. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this place – it’s the most beautiful and colorful farm right outside San Jose del Cabo and everything they serve, they grow or raise. There’s so much more to see and do than just eat at the restaurant like little shops, a pop-up ice cream stand, a farm tour and a coffee bar. I know they’re opening up a micro-brewery and building homes there, too. Like it’s literally my dream to live there after visiting once. The food is so good, I swear all I said was “mmmmm” for about an hour and a half. Also the Bloody Mary! Do not, I repeat do NOT, skip it. Best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had.

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

And finally, my top 5 travel tips for babes on a budget ’cause let’s be real, this sh*t ain’t free!

1. Do your research – We did at least a coupe of hours of research on flights and hotels before we booked our trip to Cabo. We searched primarily on Kayak, Booking.com and Hotels.com to figure out which hotels offered the best packages and which flights would fit both our budgets and time constraints. We also learned that transportation to and from the airport can be super expensive, plus the two cities we were staying in were 45 minutes apart, so we opted for a car rental. If you plan on doing the same in Cabo, we recommend Cactus – they give you all of the fees up front (which are all super reasonable) as opposed to competitors which show you a cheap price to begin with and then surprise you with a massive bill at the end.

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

2. Pick up basic groceries at a local market – We decided that for breakfast during half our trip, we’d have something healthy and easy – yogurt with fresh fruit and granola. For less than $10, we grabbed 4 bottles of water (definitely do not drink the tap water in Mexico!), 2 croissants, 4 plain yogurts, a bag of granola, a bunch of baby bananas, a 1/4 gallon of milk, 2 mangos and a lime. This lasted us breakfast for two days plus snacks and we used the milk for coffee in the room (a bag of coffee grounds that we also bought!) so we wouldn’t have to buy the $5 cups downstairs at the resort. Plus it was mango season and the mangoes we got were hands down the best ones we’ve ever eaten!

3. Check before you go – I highly recommend doing a quick Google, Yelp or Pinterest search to find out where you want to eat or shop instead of just venturing out and picking the first option you see. One of the best meals we had, and by far the cheapest, was the result of a quick Yelp search that led us to Cazueletas del Don. We loved it so much we actually went twice!

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

4. Take advantage of deals – Our first hotel had 2 for 1 drinks that varied day to day. We made sure to check which ones were part of the promo before we ordered, so we ended up getting 2 mojitos for $6 one time and 2 beers for $3 another. We also took advantage of a fixed price menu option at Romeo y Julieta that was 3 courses per person plus coffee all for $65 total. For a nice and delicious meal out, that’s a steal!

5. Know when to splurge – My parents always say, “Who knows if and when you’ll be back? Just enjoy.” Remember that you’re on vacation, which means stressing about petty things like spending some cash here and there for a really delicious dinner or fancy cocktail is a waste of precious time. It also means that if you have the opportunity to take a semi-expensive day trip, like a boat ride around an island where you get to snorkel/kayak/paddleboard/learn about the place you’re visiting, DO IT. One of my favorite memories of all time was kayaking around Lagos, Portugal and I’m confident that if our boat tour in Cabo hadn’t been cancelled this trip due to high seas, it would’ve been a close second. It’s important to be present where you’re traveling and take advantage of the adventure it has to offer.

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That’s all for now, friends! Hope everyone is having a great week!!

xo Jordan

Highlights from Cabo [ + My top 5 Travel Tips for Babes on a Budget]

Portugal Travel Guide.

Almost exactly one year ago, I made a fairly last minute decision to hop on a plane to Europe and visit a country I’d never been to before.

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

I ventured out to Portugal, one of my favorite places of all time, and spent a week exploring with my boyfriend. We had the time of our lives and now know a ton of friends heading that way this summer, so I wanted to put together a travel guide with my recommendations!

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This guide goes in order of our trip after we flew into Porto from Madrid. As for transportation, I recommend renting a car when/where possible and driving down to the south of Portugal. This is the most cost-effective way to see everything and also gives you the freedom to move around if you want to explore other towns!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

PORTO

Where we stayed… After a decent amount of planning, we decided on the Eurostars Porto Douro for our first stop in Portugal and were so happy we did! After a welcome glass of porto (of course!), we found our way up to our gorgeous and modern room that had insane views of the Douro river and bridge. We passed on the breakfast (for however many extra euros) so I can’t speak to that, but I would happily recommend this hotel to absolutely anyone, especially since it was an awesome price! The only thing to note is that you’ll be walking a decent amount, as this hotel is about 10 minutes from the base of the hill/stairs to get up to the actual town of Porto. So worth it!

What we did… Since we only had about 24 hours in Porto, we spent a decent amount of that time just walking through the city, exploring shops, grabbing tapas (a must) and an afternoon cup of cafe. We did stop by this really cool antique type shop that actually had a bar in it too (and a super cute dog!) called the Armazem. I think my two favorite visual memories of Porto are looking out over the city and its gorgeous red roofs from the Torre de Clerigos and taking a moment to sit by the river and people watch.

Not to be missed… If you can, I highly suggest you book a table for dinner at Cantinho de Alvillez. The food was out. of. CONTROL. I think this meal might’ve been our favorite meal of the entire trip, and that’s saying a lot! We even found one of this chef’s restaurants in Lisbon later on in the week, which I’ll mention below. I also recommend taking a look at the NY Times 36 Hours in Porto guide, as that has some awesome recommendations!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

FARO

What we did… Our time in Faro was fairly short because we were eager to get to Lagos, but we did take a stroll through the city, the night we arrived, grabbed a delicious seafood dinner at a nearby restaurant (it’s a fishing town!), and booked a boat trip to the Ilha Deserta, the southern-most part of Portugal!

Not to be missed… The beach on Ilha Deserta is so, so beautiful! It’s fairly cheap and quick to take the boat ride over, and we spent the day there. The water was a bit chilly and rough the day we went, but it was hot so it was very refreshing! There’s one restaurant there that we loved called Estamine where we had homemade pasta with clams, salads, and oysters. The fish was so fresh and the service was amazing, too!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.
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LAGOS

Where we stayed… Ok so we kind of splurged on this one since it was our one really nice night of the week. Lagos is a pretty romantic place in my opinion, and we pretty much stayed at the most romantic boutique hotel ever – the Hotel Vivenda Miranda. I can’t even say enough wonderful things about this place – the people are so welcoming and there’s champagne waiting for you when you check in so you can relax on the veranda and look out over the cliffs to the ocean. The room itself was pretty massive for two as well, with its own patio and everything. The views from this place are definitely worth noting, as well as the incredible buffet breakfast (so many options!) and gorgeous pool. I’m dying to go back here!!!

What we did… Exploring the town of Lagos the night we arrived was SO fun, we just found a cute restaurant for some more seafood (it’s their specialty, we couldn’t pass it up!) and gelato…duh. We also booked a kayaking tour for the next day, which I literally recommend to anyone who tells me they’re going to Portugal. The cliffs and rock formations on the outer parts of the Algarve are so stunning and you can’t really get the full view unless you’re way out in the ocean. We did the kayaking tour for a few hours that day, which starts and ends on a little boat that takes you out there. The tour goes in and out of the rocks and they tell you all about the history of the city and what each formation represents. It’s insanely beautiful, I wish I’d had a waterproof camera back then but I took lots of mental photographs 🙂

Not to be missed… Whether its 99 degrees during your trip (like it was for ours!) or a bit cooler, the Praia Dona Ana (pictured above) is a MUST. You will never see anything else like it, I can promise you that. To get to the beach that’s surrounded by rocky cliffs, you’ll go down a pretty large set of stairs. There isn’t a ton of space to lay out, but the Portuguese are nice so you’ll have friendly neighbors! We brought beer, bread and cheese with us for a picnic and took a dip in the water after lunch. The seas can be a bit rough, but if you go in the summer you’ll need to brave it! The image of this beach, with its cliffs and colorful beach umbrellas, is engrained in my mind with the fondest of memories!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

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Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

LISBON

Where we stayed… The best pick for Lisbon in my opinion is an AirBnb! There are tons of great options and the prices are awesome. The other thing is that you probably won’t be spending much time in the room anyway since you’ll be out exploring, so splurging on a fancy hotel room doesn’t make too much sense (unless you want to!). I also think it’s kind of nice staying in the heart of a real neighborhood instead of someplace touristy, too. You get a better feel of what it’s like to live there, I think! Here’s the link to ours – we LOVED it.

What we did… So because it was hot as a mother the two days we had in Lisbon, we actually decided to spend the majority of our days in Cascais (a train ride away!) and Sintra, which are both detailed down below. The afternoons and nights we spent in the city, though! This is another city that’s perfect for just taking a stroll and exploring. There are so many shops and cafes to sip sangria at! We found another restaurant by the chef from the place we had dinner at in Porto called Pizzaria Lisboa – so delish! We also stopped by a bar afterwards called Pensao Amor. This place has so much character around every corner, and even a sex shop in one of them in case your drinks make you feel frisky 😉

Not to be missed… The Time Out Market was definitely one of the highlights of the entire trip. We went here twice, once before our train ride and day trip to Cascais, and once after for dinner. There are endless options and everything is insanely delicious. The gelato and doughnuts were standouts in my eyes, as well as the jamon iberico and cheese plate!!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

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Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

CASCAIS

What we did… This town is so charming, I fell in love immediately. After walking around and exploring, we headed down to the beach for a mojito and some standup paddle-boarding! The water is super warm (at least in the summer) and the beach is packed. Doing a water activity is a good plan since you’ll fit in some activity while getting to see the coastline from out in the water! As far as I remember, it couldn’t have been more than $20 to rent the board for an hour or so, either!

Not to be missed… You have to HAVE to go to the House of Wonders. I can literally still remember this meal because it was so fresh and delicious. We actually went here twice in two days because we were craving something healthy by the end of our trip! Their healthy plates are packed with veggies, but they have fresh smoothies and pastries, too! The rooftop is the perfect place to dine since you can see out over the town, and it’s so colorful!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.
Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

SINTRA

What we did… There are two gorgeous castles in Sintra, but we only had time for one of them. We went for the Quinta da Regaleira since my boyfriend had been to the Pena Palace before (it’s the super colorful one you’ve probably seen in photos!). We drove our rental car way up to the hill, grabbed some croissants and coffees, and then walked the rest of the way to the castle, which has so much to see! There are many gardens, secret tunnels and caves, a beautiful well that you can climb up, and the gorgeous castle itself. The views from the grounds are gorgeous, as well!

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

Alright friends, that’s all for today! Have you ever been to Portugal before? If you have any other recommendations, please share them in the comments so others can see them, and if anyone is thinking about going there, I’m happy to answer any questions 🙂

xo Jordan

Dancing for Donuts | Portugal Travel Guide.

My Summer Bucket List.

I know summer doesn’t technically start until June 20th, but it sure feels like summer already to me 🙂

Dancing for Donuts | Summer Bucket List.

I’ve always been a fan of creating bucket lists for each season, mostly because they’re fun to make and even more fun to cross off. Being an adult definitely means summer is less fun & games than it used to be, but I still love to take advantage of everything the months have to offer. LA is kind of an anomaly in the sense that seasons don’t totally exist here (and yes, the sun does shine year round), but there are a ton of things that happen here only during summer months, like outdoor concerts, movies, and special events. Not to mention the weather is warmer, so you don’t need a sweater to lay on the beach!

Here’s my list for 2017 (so far):

Dancing for Donuts | Summer Bucket List.

 

What’s on your summer bucket list?! Do you like to make bucket lists for each season, too?

xo jordan

This Girl’s Got Game | Feature + Full Interview!

Hey y’all! I have some exciting news to share today, as I mentioned in my post last week!

Dancing for Donuts | Feature + Interview for This Girl's Got Game.

I’ve been featured in Gameday Couture‘s monthly magazine and special column, This Girl’s Got Game, for their Destination Away edition 🙂

Dancing for Donuts | Feature + Interview for This Girl's Got Game.

When my friend Stephanie asked me if I would be willing to do an interview for their column that features inspirational women, I couldn’t have been more flattered. I think most of the time, we’re so busy running around that we don’t stop to think about how and why we’ve become the people we are today. Answering some of the questions was actually super fun for me and really put things in perspective. While not everyday is wonderful, and I have so far to go, I’m grateful for my journey and am proud of following my dreams.

Dancing for Donuts | Feature + Interview for This Girl's Got Game.

If you don’t know my story (about how I moved to LA 6 years ago to become a professional dancer and all of the things that came afterwards!) you can read more about how I got to be who I am today. The full interview can be found here , or you can read it below 🙂

Dancing for Donuts | Feature + Interview for This Girl's Got Game.Dancing for Donuts | Feature + Interview for This Girl's Got Game.

(professional photos by Nicole Balsamo)

What’s one thing you’re grateful for that led you where you are today?

xo jordan

Weekend Recap: San Francisco & Sonoma.

I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s only 7:15pm and I’m about ready to pass the F out.

Even though I had to wake up at 5am for my flight back in time for work this morning, I feel badly complaining since I had pretty much the best time ever up in the Bay Area this weekend. Since my company allows us to work from anywhere on Fridays and my boyfriend works up in SF half the week, I decided to fly up Thursday night (on a $96 round-trip flight on Virgin from LA, YES PLEASE).

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: San Francisco & Sonoma.

After a quick workout Friday morning and a few hours of working from the hotel (The Hilton in Union Square), I headed down to the Mission to meet my best friend for lunch. She works at Tartine, which is quite possibly the best bakery in San Francisco. She spoiled the heck out of me with a ham & gruyere panini, a chocolate croissant, lemon tart, and this chocolate bar thing with jam? Honestly it was all insanely delicious and I’m kind of craving that lemon thing right now…

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: San Francisco & Sonoma.

I worked out of The Mill all afternoon before meeting up with the boy for happy hour. We had dinner reservations at 8, so we popped back to the hotel to get ready and then strolled over to Hops & Hominy. If you haven’t been here yet, you need to. Granted, I didn’t take a single picture, but that should be a testament to how good the food was and how I scarfed it down before any snaps could be shot. They start you out with some amazing cornbread, and then we split the mac & cheese (do ittttttttt), spicy chicken wings and the most amazing po’boy I’ve ever had. The old bay fries on the side didn’t hurt, either.

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: San Francisco & Sonoma.

The next day, we picked up a rental car on the earlier side and drove out to wine country. Luckily we were able to check in early at The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa. Our room was so perfect, complete with a fireplace and one of those bathtubs you can watch the tv from. Have you ever seen one of those?! They’re the best.

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Next on our itinerary were 3 wine tastings: Cline Family Cellars, Gloria Ferrer and Buena Vista. I loved how different these wineries all were from each other, but they were all top notch and I’d recommend them in a heartbeat! Cline actually had a free tasting with 5 different samples. You could pick from a variety to suit your tastes, so I went with 3 whites, a red and a dessert wine.

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: San Francisco & Sonoma.

They gave a small piece of chocolate with the dessert wine so you could pair the flavors – it was SO good! The property at Cline is gorgeous and there are tons of tables for picnicking in the back, which I would love to do next time!

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: San Francisco & Sonoma.

Gloria Ferrer was my favorite of the three, I think. At the base of the rolling hills and looking out over a field, this winery specializes in sparkling wines. It was a touch on the expensive side, but with the ambience it was so worth it. We each tried 3 different varieties that came served with breadsticks (so you don’t get tooooo tipsy!). They also have cozy blankets because it tends to get a little chilly, which I was very grateful for since the views were way too pretty to sit inside!

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: San Francisco & Sonoma.

Our final stop was Buena Vista, a more European looking winery nestled in the woods. Our tasting here was the most extensive – I think we each tried about 6 or 7 different varieties, both regular and reserve. We nibbled on some cheese and crackers and enjoyed our tasting so much that we bought a bottle of the Pinot Noir – my favorite of the entire day! Afterwards, we went back to the hotel for another mini-tasting and a glass of sangria (both complimentary), and then jumped in the hot tub for half an hour or so. It was perfect.

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: San Francisco & Sonoma.

Dinner was at a newer restaurant in downtown Sonoma called Tasca Tasca. I wanted to eat here because it was Portuguese-style tapas, which reminds me of our trip to Portugal last July. The food was outstanding and I ate entirely too much. They don’t take reservations, but we didn’t have to wait at all! The hotel provided a free shuttle too, which was amazing.

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: San Francisco & Sonoma.

On Sunday, we slept in a little and then forced ourselves to workout. Sometimes getting to the gym is the hardest part, but I try to just tell myself I’ll do 30 minutes because it’s better than nothing, and then if I stay longer that’s great! I’m so glad we got to sweat a little after all the indulging over the weekend. Our post-workout breakfast was at Community Cafe, which is just a 5-minute drive from downtown. We split the huevos rancheros and this chicken hash, which were both delicious!

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: San Francisco & Sonoma.

On our drive back to San Francisco, we stopped at Muir Woods for a mile and a half walk (so pretty, one of my favorite parks!), a pitstop at the Golden Gate bridge, Bloody Mary’s and some appetizers at Cliff House (epic views), and a little stroll along Ocean Beach.

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We rounded off the weekend with homemade pizza and dessert with a friend who graciously offered to host us for the night. I couldn’t have asked for a better 3 days, especially with all the chaos going on in the world right now.

Dancing for Donuts | Weekend Recap: San Francisco & Sonoma.

I can’t wait for my next trip up to Northern California – let me know if you have any suggestions for next time!! Have a great week, y’all 🙂

xo Jordan

Kauai Travel Guide.

Happy Humpday, friends!

I know it’s been a minute, I’ve just been easing back into things after my incredible trip to Kauai, Hawaii. It’s hard to think that just a week ago I was sitting on the beach eating fresh fruit and looking out at crystal waters when LA has been so chilly and rainy lately! Though I don’t totally mind it, I do miss waking up in the gorgeous Garden Isle and planning adventures to see it all. I’m counting the days until I can go back and I hope someday you get to go, as well! Keep reading for some of my favorite spots & highlights from my trip 🙂

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

Where to Eat:

Jojo’s Shave Ice (Hanalei) – For shave ice the size of your face, aka a classic Hawaiian treat, you’ll have to come to Jojo’s. Their syrups are all-natural and homemade (legitimately) and the shave ice is so finely shaved it almost tastes like ice cream. Speaking of, make 100% sure you get the macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom. You can thank me later.

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

Savage Shrimp (Koloa) – Guys. You have to come here. The garlic shrimp is an absolute must plus the Aloha Shrimp with coconut rice – my advice? Get both and split ’em. You won’t regret it!

Hanalei Bread Co. (Hanalei) – Do yourself a favor and come here for the most delicious Coconut Iced Coffee you’ll ever have. It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. The food & pastries also look amazing, though I didn’t get a chance to try them!

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

Monico’s Taqueria (Wailua) – If you’re looking for some good old-fashioned mexican food, come to Monico’s. We sat at the bar and had the garlic shrimp quesadilla and tacos before our flight home and it was so good. The service was phenomenal too, you can tell the locals come here!

Kilauea Fish Market (Kilauea) – Two words: Ahi. Burrito. We split one of those and one of their famous ahi wraps on our first day and I couldn’t have been happier. These are so worth the price and are also the size of texas, so come hungry!

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

What to Do:

Hike the Na Pali Coast to Hanakapi’ai Falls – A hike through the jungle in the rainiest place on earth? Sign me up. This 8 mile roundtrip hike was quite possibly my favorite thing of our entire trip. I can’t even begin to describe how lush the coast is, how blue the water is, or how beautiful the views are. If 8 miles sounds daunting (though I will say the waterfall at the end is the best reward anyone could ask for), cut it in half and do 2 miles down to the beach and 2 back.

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

Waimea Canyon – Whether you hike or not, this unbelievable “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” is not to be missed. We did a hike down to Waipo’o Falls, which admittedly kind of kicked my butt, but it honestly didn’t take that long and the views are so, so worth it. Just be wary of stepping too close to the edge!!

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

Kilauea Lighthouse – This gorgeous spot on the north shore is also a wildlife refuge. You can see Hawaiian birds in their natural habitat and look out over the turquoise waters of the Pacific and Kauai coast. Keep an eye out for whales – we saw 2!

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

Hanalei Farmer’s Market – The fruit and vegetables on Kauai are incredibly delicious and exotic. Though you can get them at the grocery stores, I recommend going to any one of the markets on Kauai (they have them every single day somewhere on the island except for Sundays!). Some of my favorite things to buy – Sarah’s Tropical Granola, taro chips, apple bananas, fresh juices, passion fruit, passion fruit, zapote (these are my new favorite!) and papaya.

Spouting Horn – This is an awesome spot pretty close to Waimea Canyon where you can stop to see the blowhole where water comes up through a natural lava tube. I’ve never seen anything like it!

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

Queens Bath – This was one of my favorite spots on the entire island. Located in Princeville, it’s just a short hike down to these volcanic rocks that in the summer create little pools to relax in. The waves were too big to swim while we were there, but you could walk around on the rocks that wrapped around the coast and watch the waves. A bonus? Come for sunset, it’s so beautiful, just leave and hike back up before it gets too dark!

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

Beaches to Visit:

Hanalei Bay Beach – This was the beach we went to the most and I wouldn’t have it any other way. From your beach chair you can look out on the Na Pali coast and take in the views that are so gorgeous, it almost looks like a movie set. This is also the perfect spot for surfing since the waves aren’t too big, but if you’re not looking to shred some gnar, dipping in for a swim is pretty perfect, too 🙂

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

Shipwreck Beach – Down near Poipu, we visited this one on our way back from Waimea Canyon. Because it’s next to hotels, it’s definitely more crowded, but it’s pretty cool to watch people jump off the giant cliff into the ocean. The waves were also bigger here than other places on the south shore, so it’s a good one for body surfing.

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

Tunnels – Another one up on the north shore, this beach is great for snorkeling and a favorite of surfers. You’re at the base of the mountains along the Na Pali coast, which makes it even more epic, but there are also tunnels, or lava tubes, from the underwater caverns that lend themselves to exploring!

Anini Beach – If you’re looking for some good snorkeling, you have to come here! This beach is narrow but super long and super gorgeous. We saw all kinds of fish (including the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a!) and even a sea turtle! The waters here are a bright turquoise and so clear, I’d recommend it in a heartbeat even if you’re not into the snorkeling thing.

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Where to Stay:

I was lucky enough to stay in a condo in Princeville near Hanalei, and I’m so glad I did. Though the resorts are beautiful and tend to be on the south shore where the sun shines a bit more (did you know Kauai is the rainiest place on the planet?!), I think the beauty of this island is that it is less developed than the others. Where Hanalei is on the north shore, it feels more like you’re experiencing Kauai more like a local. I also think the views are a bit better, but I might be partial now! I would also say the a condo or rented apartment is the way to go. There is a ton of fresh fish, vegetables and fruits on the island so cooking homemade meals is an amazing way to taste them!

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Alright y’all, that’s it for now! Hopefully you found this guide helpful if you’re planning your own trip, or even thinking of going to Kauai. Pin this page and return to it later when you’re creating your itinerary 🙂

Dancing for Donuts | Kauai Travel Guide.

Be back soon!

xo Jordan

Maui Travel Guide.

This summer, I was fortunate enough to go to Hawaii with my family as a graduation present. Though I’ve been back for two months, the trip is still fresh in my mind and I catch myself daydreaming of Maui sunsets and clear blue waters often. There are far too many incredible things to see and do in Hawaii to fit into one blog post, but I’ve rounded my favorite spots and adventures in case you decide to venture over to the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen!

Maui Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

What to do:

  • Watch the sunrise at Haleakala Crater – one of the rarest, most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Aim to get there by 5am at the latest to snag a good parking spot all the way up at the top (past the visitor’s center at the summit) and maybe even one inside the lookout because let me tell you, it is cold. And very, very windy. If you’re not excited about driving up there in the dark, at the very least go for a hike or visit during the day, this site is a can’t miss for sure.

Maui Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

  • Road to Hana – hands down my favorite part of Hawaii. I highly suggest picking up a tour guide CD from one of the local shops ($20), it tells you all kinds of interesting facts about Maui’s history as well as where to stop and where to skip. Be sure to make a pit stop at Coconut Glen’s for dairy-free ice cream, it’s unreal!

Maui Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

Maui Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

  • Big Beach – also known as Makena Beach, this spot is one for the locals, too. The surf was crazy huge when we got there so the red flags were up, but we spotted some brave surfers killing it out in the biggest waves I’ve ever seen! If you’re feeling frisky, just walk up a bit to Little Beach, no swimsuits required.

Maui Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

  • Walk along Front Street – when you need a break from the sun, walking up and down Front Street in the town of Lahaina is a fun activity. There are a variety of stores from brand names like Rip Curl and Billabong to touristy ones where you can buy souvenirs, art galleries and other cute shops.

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  • ‘Lao Valley State Park – a super chill but beautiful walk/hike in the center of Maui. Go for lush greenery, some exercise and to see the ‘Lao Needle, where King Hamehameha I conquered Maui’s warriors in pursuit of uniting all the Hawaiian islands!

Maui Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

  • Kapalua Beach – just above Lahaina where the snorkeling is insane! We saw 3 huge sea turtles here. I’d highly recommend paying $100 for a tour and just come here with some snorkeling gear instead + a waterproof camera.

Maui Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

What to eat:

  • Ululani’s Shave Ice – first on my list for obvious reasons. I don’t know what it is about this stuff, but it’s creamy and cold and refreshing all at once. My advice: mix 2 or 3 flavors and put the custard on the bottom 😉

Maui Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

  • Coconuts Fish Cafe – hands down the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. We visited the location in Kihei, but oddly enough they have a few in the states, as well!
  • Flatbread Company – so good we almost ate their twice. In my favorite town on Maui, Paia, this restaurant was poppin’ and for good reason. Their pizzas are to die for with tons of options and even gluten-free crust.
  • Down the Hatch – another one of my favorites in Lahaina. This casual but fun fish restaurant is one of those where you order up at the front and they bring it to you, but there’s also a cool bar to sit at if that’s more your style. I had the fish tacos (again, I know, I can’t get enough!) but the lava lava shrimp were a family favorite!
  • Paia Bay Coffee – my favorite coffee shop on the island. Not only was the coffee and food delicious (go for the bagel breakfast sandwiches or a piece of banana bread!) but the super cute ambiance is the best part.
  • Simply Sweets Bakery – a must after your visit to the ‘Lao Valley. They’ve renamed the malasada, or Hawaiian version of a donut with crunchy sugar and a cream filling, a “mauisada,” and you’ll need to try at least one in every flavor. When in Hawaii!

Maui Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

Where to stay:

  • My family stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Lahaina, and I can’t lie, I pretty much felt like a princess the entire week. The hotel, restaurants, pool, beach and workout facility were all amazing. I know I speak for all of us when I say it was one of the most relaxing weeks of my entire life. I took full advantage of the acai bowls and drinks and one day we event rented a beach cabana. If you have the opportunity to stay here, I highly recommend it! There are also a ton of resorts along this same strip, as well as just north in Kapalua, south in Kihei and obviously other great parts of the island, too!Maui Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts
    Maui Travel Guide | Dancing for Donuts

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Well that’s all for now, I hope I’ve inspired you to visit Hawaii 🙂

xo Jordan

Dancing for Donuts | Maui Travel Guide.