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

What I Ate in Cabo

Hello hello!!! I am back from traveling and have more photos to share with you than I know what to do with😂

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Since food is always my favorite part of travel, I wanted to share with you some of the incredible things we ate on our trip. Like last year, we stayed at our favorite hotel, the JW Marriott (which I highlyyyyyy recommend!!!!!) but also ventured out to some of our other favorite spots. We even discovered a couple of new places (like a town called Todos Santos, which is about an hour and a half from San José del Cabo) so you’ll see some of those eats below, too.

This post is definitely more for the foodie and travel lovers, so if that’s not your style I totally get it! I did more of an actual recap of our trip last year so if you’d like to hear about more of my favorite places in Cabo in general, just head to my post from last year!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Okay we found the CUTEST coffee shop in San José del Cabo and they had the most delicious breakfast!! It’s called Coffee Lab and it’s actually part of a coworking space, but there’s a little table indoors and then a bunch of cute patio seating. The people working there was also super nice, which I always appreciate. I cannot wait to go back!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

The most EPIC Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever seen at Flora Farms! We came here last year for brunch and fell so unbelievably in love with both the food and the grounds (it’s an actual farm and they grow nearly every single thing they serve). We wanted to ball out a little this trip so we did brunch again AND dinner. Pro tip: make reservations as far in advance as possible because this place books up!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Our brunch order: the french toast with mango and banana (honestly drooling just thinking about this) and eggs! I don’t know why I don’t add fresh herbs to my eggs more often…they’re such a game changer!!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

For dinner at Flora Farms a few days later, we shared the guanciale charcuterie plate, then a pizza with prosciutto (which was INSANE) and rabbit! I’d never had rabbit before but it was amazing. I think what made it was the sauce they had on it…and also the roasted carrots and polenta. I took a photo of it but it was blurry! Sorry ’bout that😬

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Salsa and guac by the pool at the JW Marriott where we stayed because MEXICO. I’m pretty sure we ordered this at least twice while we were there😂

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

A coco frio from a truck on the side of the road! It was hot af while we were in Cabo and when we saw this on our drive back from the Cabo Surf Hotel one day, we knew we had to stop. This was $3.50 and had a tonnnn of fresh coconut water in it! So tasty.

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We love to go to a local grocery store to stock up on cheap snacks when we travel and this time we got our favorite bananas! I’m not sure what these are called, but they’re pretty tiny (I ate about 3 at once) and were perfect for a pre or post workout snack.

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Breakfast pastries and coffee at the Hotel San Cristobal in Todos Santos. We had a couple egg dishes after this, but I scarfed them down too quickly to snap a photo…😅We’re already planning to spend a night or two at this gorgeous and peaceful hotel next year!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Ridiculously delicious fish and shrimp tacos at a little spot off the street in Todos Santos. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of this place but it was recommended to us by the staff at the Hotel San Cristobal and did not disappoint! I’m pretty sure each of the tacos was only $1.50 too, – insane, right?!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Post taco popsicles in the 95 degree heat while walking through Todos Santos! I can’t find this place online, but it was super cute and turquoise on the outside! They had tons of ice cream and popsicle options, but I went for yogurt & fruit while Alex chose mango. Both delicious!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

One of the most delicious (and fresh!) noodle bowls I’ve ever tasted at Acre. This was our first time here and we went at dusk – the grounds are so stunning, I can’t wait to visit again in the daytime!

Dancing for Donuts | What I Ate in Cabo, Mexico

Some kombucha and beer before our flight back to LA! We visited Baja Brewing Co. last year too, and knew we had to go back. We also shared some pizza and a burger that were fantastic here!

 

Colorado Recap + Vlog!

Hi friends! It’s been a minute, huh?

Dancing for Donuts | Colorado Recap + Vlog!

I’ve been back from Colorado since late last week, but getting back into the swing of things took it out of me and to be honest, I had a small case of the post-vaca blues. It happens to me every time! I think I just had such an amazing time with my parents that coming back to LA and work felt so anticlimactic…but in any case, I made a short vlog about my trip so y’all can see it! I also just really like the thought of documenting moments with video for myself so that I can look back on them in a few months or years. It’s nice to see things in action, so you can find that at the bottom of this post!

As you’ll learn in the video, I’ve been going to Colorado for my family’s annual ski trip since I was about five years old. I grew up learning to ski in Keystone and then started snowboarding in 7th grade since my brother was doing it and that meant it was the coolest thing ever. Turns out, I still think it is😏 We now stay in Breckenridge because the town is so stinkin’ cute and the food is unbeatable. I also love the mountain (Peak 7 is where it’s at, in my opinion!), but we usually venture to Beaver Creek or Vail once during our vacation, as well.

Dancing for Donuts | Colorado Recap + Vlog!

This time around, we actually spent one day in Boulder walking around, shopping, and grabbing some bites (it’s my FAVORITE town in Colorado. I hope to live there someday!) and then went up to the mountains on the second day. Though my trip only lasted 5 days, I wanted to share some of my foodie recommendations for Boulder and Breck, in case you find yourself there someday! I really hope you do because they are two really incredible places with so much to do. And as I mentioned earlier, you can catch my vlog at the end of this post if you’re more of a video person! It’s only 3 and a half minutes long, so I promise it won’t take up too much of your time😉

Dancing for Donuts | Colorado Recap + Vlog!

Boulder: 

Brasserie Ten Ten – Hands down my favorite restaurant in Boulder. When my mom lived there we’d go here allllll the time. They have such a variety of delicious food for breakfast, lunch or dinner and the price points are fantastic!

Jax – Best. Seafood. Eva. Seriously though, this place has a meaaaaan happy hour with incredible oysters, calamari, and drinks! They have incredible service, too – it was my dad’s bday and they brought over desserts without us asking. So sweet!!

The Buff – Another old favorite, the Buff has an insaaaaane breakfast. I’ve gotten the omelettes and skillets before, but literally everything on the menu looks B.O.M.B.

Dancing for Donuts | Colorado Recap + Vlog!

Breckenridge:

Clint’s Bakery – Our favorite place in town for coffee and breakfast on-the-go! Their pastries look absurd, but we usually go for the bagel or wrap breakfast sandwiches before heading out to another mountain for the day!

Hearthstone – This one’s on the fancier side with reservations defffinitely recommended. We’ve been coming here as long as I can remember and it never disappoints!

Twist – *Pictured above! To say this place has the greatest happy hour on earth is not an exaggeration. Their food is so unique and the menu is always changing with new innovations and flavors. Our favorites this time were the philly cheese steak egg rolls and smoked ham mac n’cheese. Come hungry!

The Canteen – We finally tried this place this year (after hearing good things from locals!) and you GUYS. You have to go here. They smoke their own meat and UGH is it good. We had the wings to start and I’m still dreaming about them a week later. My dad got the brisket and that was awesome, too. Highly recommend!

Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria – Three words: white clam pizza. They only have it on Mondays, so be sure to plan your entire week around it, but if that’s not your jam/you’re not there on a Monday, allllll of their food is amazing. Authentic, hearty, delicious Italian food!

Columbine Café – Our favorite sit-down breakfast place in town! Be sure to get there early or you might have to wait (but it’s worth it) and don’t skip the biscuits – they’re a must!

Breckenridge Tap House – So this place actually used to be called Oscar’s up until this year and we thought it closed, but it just changed names! They have awesome tacos and sides, plus the margaritas are good😉

Thanks for reading/watching!! Let me know in the comments if you ski/snowboard or have been to Breck – we can bond over our love of winter sports and beautiful Colorado!

xo Jordan

Hitting the Re-set Button in the Outer Banks + Autumn Goals

Hi friends!

Dancing for Donuts | Hitting the Re-set Button in the Outer Banks + Autumn Goals

The past 10 or so days have been an absolute whirlwind! There was a ton of celebrating (my birthday, seeing family again, and a wedding) and I had an absolute blast.I made it to the Outer Banks in NC on September 1st, aka my favorite place on the planet, and got to enjoy the next week soaking up some much-needed time with family. In between moments of fun were plenty of relaxation on the beach and a bit of work, too. Oh, and I ate like a friggin’ QUEEN. Here’s some proof:

Dancing for Donuts | Hitting the Re-set Button in the Outer Banks + Autumn Goals

My favorite ice cream from Big Buck’s – peanut butter cups and fudge on the bottom, coffee cookie on top! 2 scoops because #yolo.

Dancing for Donuts | Hitting the Re-set Button in the Outer Banks + Autumn Goals

The most incredible and doughy bagel with pastrami smoked salmon & veggie cream cheese – I kid you not when I say I had 4 bagels in 6 days. What can I say, we just don’t have good ones back in LA!

Dancing for Donuts | Hitting the Re-set Button in the Outer Banks + Autumn Goals

Homemade crab cake benedict with hollandaise sauce – I can’t take credit for this one, my dad & bf were some very impressive chefs!

Dancing for Donuts | Hitting the Re-set Button in the Outer Banks + Autumn Goals

And Frozen grapes by the pool because literally nothing is better on a hot day!

There was also some blogging involved (did you catch my recipe for nutty whole grain chocolate chip cookies?!) and therefore eating of the props, as well…and I taught my boyfriend how to take photos on my fancy camera! I’d say he got pretty into it 😉

Dancing for Donuts | Hitting the Re-set Button in the Outer Banks + Autumn Goals

We also caught the gorgeous sunsets that are characteristic to the island and one of the things I love so, so much about my annual trip there. What is it about rainbow skies that makes us feel happy and grateful and humbled?!

Dancing for Donuts | Hitting the Re-set Button in the Outer Banks + Autumn Goals

…And the love my parents have for each other? That’s another thing that makes me feel happy & grateful 🙂 I know this picture is kind blurry, but it instantly makes me smile. These two have been married for 37 years, how incredible is that?!

Dancing for Donuts | Hitting the Re-set Button in the Outer Banks + Autumn Goals

One thing that was extra special about this year was that my boyfriend was able to join me. It was pretty wonderful getting to share my favorite place with my favorite person. It just makes me love it even more 🙂

Dancing for Donuts | Hitting the Re-set Button in the Outer Banks + Autumn Goals

And then we rounded out our amazing week with a wedding for one of his friends in Minneapolis, a city I’d never been to before. As exhausted as I was, it was so much fun. I also really liked the city from what I could tell, it’s very clean! I’d love to go back someday.

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Now that I’m back, a part of me feels a bit sad that I don’t have this trip to look forward to anymore. I know that’s kind of silly since I had such an incredible trip, but I get so completely blissed out while I’m there that the week just flies by. This trip also always coincides with my birthday (and the start of a new school year), which makes it feel like both an end to the previous year and a kickoff for the one ahead. I like to take advantage of the down time I have while I’m there to check in with myself, re-evaluate my goals, choices, and general path in life. And I guess as much of a bummer it is that it’s over, I without fail always come back with a new perspective. I have so many goals for my 28th year, but here are just a few top-line ones!

Autumn Goals

-Try one new fall recipe each week

-Get back into a fitness routine and aim to workout 6 days a week (I need a serious re-set after all the celebration and vacation this past month!)

-Start bullet-journaling

-Blog 2-3x each (something I’m generally already doing, but want to be more consistent about)

-Carry my DSLR camera  + fancy lens everywhere and take more photos!

-Map out my blog goals both short and long-term, and how I will achieve them

-Spend more time outside (I know this one sounds counter-intuitive because the weather will be cooler, but I’d much prefer the cold over the heat from the summer!)

-Give my beauty routine a re-fresh and upgrade, it is MUCH needed!

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Do you make seasonal goals, too? What are you focusing on as we head into fall?

xo Jordan

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