Friday Finds.

Weeeeeeeekend, I’m comin’ for ya.

Dancing for Donuts | Friday Finds.

I don’t know guys, maybe it’s because it’s summer that I find myself counting down to weekends so much more than usual so that I can like, go outside and do summer-y things or something? I really hate living for the weekends, but this season seems to be doing that to me. Whatever though, because it’s the weekend starting TODAY!

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week…

9 Ways to Have an Extraordinary Life – I literally want to write this list down and hang it on my wall so I can see it every. single. day.

Turmeric Ginger Granola RecipeTurmeric Ginger Granola Recipe – Y’all know about my newfound obsession with homemade granola. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

How to Eat Seasonally (And Why it’s So Important!) – Do itttttt. I need to work on this personally, but I’m planning on stocking up on some zucchini, berries, tomatoes and nectarines at the farmer’s market this weekend!

Tone It Up Summer HIIT Routine – At less than 15 minutes, I really should be doing this like every other day #letsbehonest

4 Bad Habits that are Stopping You from Being Successful – Literally guilty of all of these, though…whoops.

How to Make an Epic Cheese Board (With Trader Joe’s Items!) – YES. YES. YES. Done and done.

Have a beautiful weekend, friends!

xo Jordan

How I Stay Sane [Because “Health” is More Than Food + Fitness!]

Do y’all ever feel like, even though you’re eating well and getting your exercise, your mind doesn’t totally feel at ease?

Dancing for Donuts | How I Stay Sane [Because Health Isn't Just Food + Fitness]

The other day I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts by The Healthy Maven, and her guest said something that resonated with me so much that I actually had to stop mid-walk and write it down in the notes app on my phone. Niki, from Healthnut Nutrition said, “Health isn’t just the food you eat, it’s the thoughts you think and the relationships you have.” I mean, I literally could not have said this better myself. How valid is that?!

Dancing for Donuts | How I Stay Sane [Because Health Isn't Just Food + Fitness]

As I get older, I’m starting to realize that, while eating well and sweating it out does make me feel great, that’s not the only thing my body (and soul) may need. Don’t get me wrong, when I’ve had a stressful day or I’m totally freaking out about something, I crave a cardio session or POUND class to let it all out, but I also think that this isn’t the only way to calm down, get some perspective and gain peace of mind. For me, sometimes the last thing I want (or need) is an intense workout, and what really will make me feel better is writing it all down, talking it out with a friend, or even just unplugging from my phone and social media for a bit.

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I don’t exactly meditate, not because I don’t think it has benefits, but because I think I just meditate in other ways than silently and sitting, you know? I think my meditation comes in the form of walking and maybe listening to an uplifting podcast (swear my a roundup of my faves is coming soon!), or writing in my planner. I’m still with my thoughts, and thinking about how I feel, but without having to sit in silence. Does that make sense?

I’m no health expert, as you all know, but I will say this – being happy, in addition to healthy, requires a certain mindset. And running around like a crazy person trying to squeeze in a workout 7 days a week for an hour and a half plus thinking about how you can eat every single superfood in the 15 hours you’re awake, can often do more help than good. I’m working on this myself, and have gotten a lot better at it in the last year or so, but this whole “self-care” thing is more important than I have a feeling most of us think it is.

Dancing for Donuts | How I Stay Sane [Because Health Isn't Just Food + Fitness]

Here are some of the things I do to help de-stress before or after a long day, on a lazy Sunday when I’m not quite ready to get back to Monday, when I’m on vacation hoping to reboot, or even on my lunch break…

Make a to-do list before bed at night or first thing in the morning – I don’t know about you, but sometimes it literally takes me 5 hours to fall asleep (just ask my boyfriend who gets woken up by me asking him if he’s still awake at 3am…). A lot of times this is because I’m thinking about all of the things I have to do the next day, week, month, whenever. I find that writing things down in my planner right before I go to bed not only helps me organize my plans, but also keeps me aware of things that are happening days from now. I do the same thing in the morning at work so that I know how to organize and time-manage my day. It definitely keeps the stress at bay when I have everything written down in front of me that I can check off throughout the day!

Keep a journal – This one sort of goes with my point above in the sense that getting our thoughts down on paper helps get them out of our heads. I used to be a huge journal-er when I was in grade school, but it became less of a priority and more of a time commitment over the years. Instead of writing massive entries like I used to, chronicling every single thing I said and did in a day, I use the 5-minute journal method or the 52 Lists Project (my favorite) to jot down some thoughts and move on. Even though it takes only a few minutes, it puts my head in a better space and re-focuses my thoughts. (I’ve linked my favorite journals/notebooks at the bottom of this post!)

Dancing for Donuts | How I Stay Sane [Because Health Isn't Just Food + Fitness]

Go for a walk – If you know me at all, you know this one’s my go-to. I try to take at least a 30 minute walk every single day in the middle of the day, and sometimes one at night as well, just so that I can get myself away from my desk. I find that if I’m having trouble focusing, a walk helps me re-center myself so that I can come back to my work feeling refreshed. It gets the creative juices flowing and also allows me to step away from my tech, where I often have 8,000 tabs open and get distracted super easily! I also think walking kind of forces you to think/feel since there’s nothing you’re responsible for in that moment except for putting one foot in front of the other.

Call a family member or friend – While I think it’s super important to think through things on your own, I also know how incredible and important it can be to get someone else’s perspective, or even just talk it out without expecting a response. Depending on what’s going on, I’ll call either or both of my parents, my brother, my boyfriend, or my best friends to get their opinions if I’m dealing with a tough situation. Other times, I just like to hear someone else’s voice, listen to how their day is going, and separate myself from my own problems. Not only does this help take your mind off of things that may be bothering you, but it also allows you to be there for someone else if they need it and gives you an opportunity to fortify a relationship or keep in touch with someone far away. After all, Niki did say that health is about relationships, too!

Find a good hardcover or paperback book (not an audiobook!) – As you probably know already, I am a die hard fan of audiobooks and podcasts right now. However, I think unplugging completely, holding a book in your hand and focusing on just that can do wonders for our minds. When an audiobook is on, it’s easier for us to multi-task, and I think part of unwinding should be the opposite of just that! I recently started going back the local library and it’s been amazing. Books are always worth it, but the library makes them so accessible and free for this #BabeOnABudget!

Dancing for Donuts | How I Stay Sane [Because Health Isn't Just Food + Fitness]

Alright y’all, that’s it for now. I hope everyone is having a stress-free week! Don’t forget to make time for the things that make you happy!

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

 

Easiest Coconut Almond Granola.

Man, it has been a week.

Dancing for Donuts | Easiest Coconut Almond Granola.

I think maybe coming back from vacation hit me harder than I thought it would…anyone else with me? I’ve been in a bit of a funk, but I’ll tell you, there are definitely things keeping my head up these days – having my boyfriend back in town, journaling, inspiring podcasts, yummy food, and this blog! I was also pretty good about meal-prepping last weekend, and it’s made this hectic week soooooo much easier. Nothing makes the day a bit brighter than a delicious breakfast or lunch that’s already ready and waiting in the fridge, + maybe a trip or 2 to Starbucks if I’m being honest 😉

Dancing for Donuts | Easiest Coconut Almond Granola.

One of the things I made last Saturday was a batch of homemade granola to put on top of my 2% greek yogurt in the morning (as I mentioned in my last post!). I’ve definitely found a few brands I like that are low in sugar (Kind, Bear Naked, Love Grown), but nothing beats homemade. You can completely control what the ingredients are, how much sugar is in them, and which add-ins you want.

Dancing for Donuts | Easiest Coconut Almond Granola.

This recipe (inspired by Eating Bird Food) took all of 5 minutes to put together and then boom, into the oven for forty. Easy peasy! This granola is the perfect amount of sweetness paired with plain yogurt, and it has that crunch to compliment the creaminess! I also love that it clumps up a little bit, just like those clusters that are always at the top of a fresh bag of granola. The. Best.

Dancing for Donuts | Easiest Coconut Almond Granola.

Coconut Almond Granola

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut or coconut shavings

3/4 cup slivered almonds

1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water

3 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp coconut oil

1/8 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp chia seeds

 

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Whisk the flaxseed and water together in a small bowl and let sit for a few minutes.

2. In a large bowl, stir together all remaining ingredients. Once combined, add the flaxseed mixture and toss again to coat.

3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (highly recommended for easy removal!) and pour the oat mix on top. Press into an even layer to cover the parchment completely.

4. Bake for 40 minutes, pausing at the halfway mark after 20 to stir. Press back down into an even layer and bake for the remaining 20 minutes.

5. Remove from oven, let cool, and then store in an airtight container until ready to eat!

Dancing for Donuts | Easiest Coconut Almond Granola.

Do you ever make homemade granola? What are your favorite add-ins?!

xo Jordan


Post-Vaca Healthy Meal Plan [+ My Favorite Quinoa Salad!]

Okay, I guess it’s back to a full week of work, huh?

Dancing for Donuts | Post-Vacation Meal Plan.

I will say, though, that there’s something kind of wonderful about Mondays. I think it’s the idea that you can start with a clean slate and craft your week however you’d like it to be, you know? I was only back in LA for three days last week, but I started getting back to a cleaner version of my normal eats after all the margs and guac that I could not pass up in Mexico! I seriously feel better and more energized already, so I’m going to keep up with this meal plan for at least another week to re-set my body!

Dancing for Donuts | Post-Vacation Meal Plan.

I’ve never been one for cleanses or hardcore diets. My philosophy is that cutting things that I love entirely out of my diet just leaves me craving them more, and then once the diet is over, I just binge eat them (and everything else). Instead, my goal is to eat as many veggies as possible and keep processed foods down to a minimum. You know I love my energy bars, but I’m trying not to rely on those either, and instead reach for whole food healthy snacks. Here’s the easy plan I’m following (that I put together on the plane ride home from Cabo!) and the recipe for my quinoa salad can be found at the bottom of this post!

Dancing for Donuts | Post-Vacation Meal Plan.

Pre-breakfast: 1 cup of coffee with 2% milk (the fat keeps me fuller for longer and skim milk has the most sugar of any of the low-fast milks!), 1 huge glass of ice water

Breakfast: 2% plain greek yogurt with 1/4 cup fresh fruit (mango, berries, banana, peaches, pineapple, etc.) and 1/4 cup granola

Mid-morning snack: 1 hard-boiled egg or a handful of raw almonds

Lunch: quinoa salad with chopped veggies, beans, greens, and a form of protein (sliced turkey, chicken breast, an egg, ground turkey, tofu, etc.), dressing: 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or a mix of mustard/lemon juice/EVOO *recipe below!

Afternoon snack: baby carrots and/or celery with hummus

Dinner: smoothie with 1 scoop protein powder, 1/4 cup fruit, 1 huge handful of greens, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 2 tbsp fat (mix and match nut butter or coconut oil/butter), non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, hemp, soy, etc.)

Dancing for Donuts | My Favorite Quinoa Salad.

My Favorite Quinoa Salad:

1 cup dried quinoa + 2 cups water

1 large cucumber

2 bell peppers (any color!)

1/2 onion

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 hard-boiled egg (per serving)

3 cups spinach or kale

dressing: 3 tbsp each of mustard, EVOO, and lemon juice + warm water to thin

  1. In a saucepan or small pot, bring dried quinoa and water to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. *Keep an eye on it around the 8-minute mark to make sure it doesn’t burn at the bottom!

2. While the quinoa is cooking, chop all of the veggies and mix together the dressing.

3. Combine the veggies and cooked quinoa in a giant bowl and toss with dressing. Portion out for 4 lunches and top with hard-boiled egg (keep it in the shell until ready to eat!) or protein of your choice.

Dancing for Donuts | My Favorite Quinoa Salad.

Some things to note – I’ve definitely had an extra snack or 2 in here, whether that’s some extra almonds, a random piece of fruit, or some more veggies. I don’t feel guilty having more food if I feel hungry, I just try to stick to some variety of the foods listed above. My rule: if it comes in a box or a bag, steer clear! The granola is the exception to that, but I try to choose granolas with low-sugar. I actually made a homemade recipe this weekend, so stay tuned for that later this week! Additionally, I have the smoothie at night because I tend to workout after work, but I have them for breakfast sometimes, too 🙂

How do you clean up your diet after an indulgent vacation?!

xo Jordan


Friday Finds.

Can you believe it’s already Friday?! I know I’ve only been back at work for three days (including today), but they were busy!!

Dancing for Donuts | Friday Finds.

I’m welcoming a weekend with friends and family, fitness, cooking and cleaning! Here’s what I’ve been reading around the web this week post-vacation…

Creating Healthy Eating Habits – A must for post-vacation detoxing! And just life in general, let’s be honest.

The Grocery List You Need to Keep on Hand for a Healthy Summer – This list is everything. I’m planning on printing it out and keeping it in my wallet  so it’s always handy!!

Crunchy Spiced Cauliflower Tacos with Avo-Lime Dressing – I’ve been trying to eat less meat lately (for no real reason, aside from that plant-based eating is generally better for women!) and this recipe sounds insanely delicious!

10 Slow-Cooker Recipes Light Enough for Summer – Slow-cookers are a working woman’s savior. Love that these aren’t the usual heavy recipes you see around the web!

How to Be a Confident Badass in an Instant – THIS. This. this. this. Go read it now ’cause I’m about to read it for the 5th time.

The Power of Intention – Such an interesting read from the folks over at Free People (aka my favorite brand of life). I’m definitely working on focusing more on meditation and mindfulness these days!

What have you been reading lately?! Hope everyone has a fantastic 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]

June Favorites | Health + Wellness.

Hi from Cabo San Lucas, friends!!

If you don’t see me much in the next week it’s because I’m trying to unplug a bit, but I did want to share my monthly favorites with you so here they are!

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Q-Band Fitness Tracker – I’ve mentioned before how obsessed I am with walks these days (and podcasts while I’m on them!) and the folks over at Mobile Action were kind enough to send me their new Q-Band fitness tracker! I don’t have a Fitbit or anything to compare it to, but I love that it gives me a more accurate step count without needing to always have my phone on me (for the Health app!). It also holds a charge for basically ever, which is awesome!!

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I Heart Keenwah Quinoa Puffs in Sea Salt Truffle – Ok so in all honesty, and don’t hate me for this, I’m not really a chips person…like I like them and I will absolutely shovel in an entire bag in 10 minutes if it’s there, but I don’t actually buy them for myself. Or savory snacks in general, really. But! Sometimes you just need something salty, even if you have a raging sweet tooth, know what I mean? These quinoa puffs are so damn tasty and only 120 calories per serving – there are 3 servings total in a bag (they’re big!) so I tried to split my bag into snacks for 2 days, but it was probably more like 70/30 😉

Dancing for Donuts | June Favorites

Summer Peaches – Apologies for the less than stellar desk photo, but is anyone else obsessed with peaches? I literally can’t think of anything better than a juicy peach, especially when it’s hot AF outside. The only issue is that they’re really only good during the summer season, so you have to really stock up and kind of OD on ’em. I splurged for farmer’s market peaches a few weeks ago and have been dreaming of them since we ran out!

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Santa Barbara Bar in Coconut Almond – You know me, forever a bar girl 🙂 I brought this one to the beach because it didn’t have any coating or chocolate on it to melt (that’s the worst when it makes a mess and you don’t have any napkins to clean it up). It was the perfect mid-morning snack and had a hint of sweetness and coconut, but not too much. I also liked that it wasn’t super dry like Nature Valley or Clif bars!

Dancing for Donuts | June Favorites

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant in Lavender + Sage – So I was in the market for a natural deodorant for a looooong time because the thought of putting a bunch of chemicals right near my lymph nodes (and deodorant has been directly linked to breast cancer, ladies!). I did a bunch of research and it seems like if you switch straight from regular to natural deodorant it won’t work to prevent an odor (which, let’s be honest, is something i seriously need), so I did about a week of detoxing where I didn’t wear anything at all. It must’ve worked because my Schmidt’s has been amazing so far. No smell or anything, not to mention that there are zero white marks on my clothes and even when I’m sweating, no sweat marks show up. Super important!

Alright y’all that’s it for now. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and Happy 4th of July!

xo Jordan

 

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.

Friday Finds.

Wait, it’s Friday already?!

This week absolutely flew by for me, and I ain’t mad about it. I had two super fun fitness events this week after crazy busy days at work, so that might have something to do with it! It’s safe to say I’m happy it’s the weekend, though 🙂

Dancing for Donuts | Friday Finds.

Here’s what I’ve found across the web this week. Have you come across anything noteworthy? Let me know in the comments!

Matcha Mojitos – WAIT. What?! Give me allllll the matcha!

The Reasons it’s Important to Have Multiple Streams of Income – Yes, yes, YES. I’ve been saying this for years and I’ll continue to do so because this advice is the JAM.

10 Things I Buy from Trader Joe’s for No-Cook Dinners – A must because 1) it’s hot AF rn and spending time in front of a stove or oven is hell. and 2) ain’t nobody got time for that.

4 Insanely Effective Ways to Sharpen Your Focus When You HAVE to Get Sh*t Done – Does anyone else have trouble focusing in the summer?! It’s hard not to think about being at the beach or on vacation when you’re stuck at your desk, y’know?

26 Things to Do This Summer – In case you haven’t gotten a chance to make a summer bucket list yet!

4th of July Chia Pudding – Since it doesn’t hurt to start planning your holiday menu early 😉

 

That’s all for today, friends. Hope everyone has a wonderful summer weekend!

xo Jordan