i recently took my first trip without baby atlas & wanted to share how it went and what i did in vegas for 2 days. the last time i was there was in sept. of 2017 so it was fun to go back…this time on a girls trip!

i was preggers when we booked this trip & kept telling myself then that i would be fine to leave him when the time came. it really was great and i would totally recommend ANY new mom (or parents) to take a 1-2 night getaway when baby is like 5-6 months old because you don’t realize how much energy and attention you give your baby until you are away from them and can take a mental break – it was so good for my soul!

this was a girls trip – i went with my mom, sister, best friends molly & katelin and their mom to see gwen stefani at planet hollywood. she is my ALL TIME fav artist so i was stoked when we booked this trip months ago & when the time came to leave baby atlas i was feeling reaallllyyyy ready for a baby break. he was 5 months old & i left him in the loving care of his amazing dad for the 2 nights/3 days that we were away & dekel said he had a great time spending quality time with atlas, just the two of them.

we left friday morning around 9 and our flight was at about 11 so i fed baby A before leaving for the airport and brought my manual breast pump & my haakaa with me in my purse on the plane. an hour and a half into the flight i reached in my shirt & it felt like stones were in my boobs they were so lumpy & hard and needed release so i took my purse with me to the restroom on the plane, stood there & quickly pumped a few ounces just to not have them be rock hard. we landed around 1ish, checked in to planet hollywood & i pumped some more. pumping was the theme of my trip because i had to do it so often…my boobs needed it and i wanted to keep my supply up so i pumped every 2-3 hours! i would manually pump on one side and have the haakaa suctioned to the other boob to catch any drip and then switch until they felt lighter. each pumping session would yield like 4-5 ounces so it felt efficient. this method worked for me while traveling just fine, it’s what i do at home so i was used to it & comfortable doing it.

after checking in and unpacking a bit, we went downstairs and ate at cafe hollywood & then ubered to planet 13 dispensary (recreational weed is legal in vegas!) to get a few pre-rolled joints & sour watermelon gummies for the weekend. we had a dinner reservation at therapy that evening, so after we got ready, we wentdown to the lobby and danced for a bit because there was live music and we were feelin’ the vibe & then headed to the downtown las vegas area near fremont street. the service was slow but the food was bomb, mel & i shared a french dip and mashed potatoes. yum!

the goods

i kept seeing “atlas” everywhere! we got picked up from the airport in a VW Atlas, it was in the dispensary (pic below) & there was even a slot machine named “Atlas” – it was funny!

the girl gang


delicious dinner

after dinner & drinks we wandered around fremont street & popped into the golden nugget casino so some peeps could play slots & i could pump in the bathroom. after wandering around a bit more we made our way to the paris casino & sweetened the night with some hot coffee & a little treat – i got chocolate & pistachio covered strawberries! we were all tired from a long travel day so we made our way back to the room & MAN did it feel good to sleep all night uninterrupted ūüôā atlas is a pretty good sleeper, but he still sleeps in our room so i feel like i always sleep with one eye open. it was REALLY nice to be in a crisp hotel bed & get deep, deep sleep!!!

the next morning we woke up & were on a mission to find coffee & food so we went nt next door to the paris and sat on the patio at mon ami gabi, a french bistro, and had the best experience. it was a warm morning with the sun shining and bottomless brewed coffee. i had a breakfast sandwich & we got a cinnamon crepe with cream cheese icing to share, which was TDF!

breakfast spread

with breakfast in our bellies & caffeine in our system, we were ready to walk & shop around! we had a photoshoot by the arc de triomphe, went to ross, eataly (it was my first time & it was SO cool!) & taco bell for an alcoholic frozen drink.

cream puffs & a nutella thing from eataly that was so rich and good…omg, i want one RN!

sister pic!

gwen was everywhere, so obviously we had to take a pic with her

after walking around all day, we wanted to take a little break (& i desperately needed to pump-ha!) so we went to our room to put our feet up & change for an early dinner at black tap before the gwen stefani show.

#ootn for dinner

i had the steak au poivre burger with a shit ton of blue cheese (my fav!) & we ordered a cookies ‘n cream crazy shake for the table to share & it was insane. the shake itself was great but it came with a giant oreo cookie ice cream sandwich, which was soooo goood! needless to say, we killed it & hardly left and oreo crumbles.

post-dinner selfie in the venetian

#werewiththeband – we all got these no doubt shirts from target for the show and styled them differently. here is the dress i am wearing under mine.

some of the gang!

it was fucking fabulous! i sang my lungs out and was blown away by the set, graphics & just her overall performance and story-telling – LOVED IT ALL!

after the show, around 11:30, we went looking for some grub and found pin up pizza. we each ordered their deal of a giant slice, a garlic knot and a beer for $11.50 and i can’t speak for the rest of the group but i devoured mine so quick! it was off to bed after that because A. we were losing an hour due to the time change/spring forward and B. we had to get up at 5 to get ready & leave for the airport because our flight was at 8 am.

i love this picture because it’s so “after the vegas madness” – we were all without any makeup and had upset stomachs (i even threw up waiting for our uber to the airport…i think it was the lack of sleep/too much drinking and smoking) and here we are in all of our glory having coffee and orange juice at sammy’s at the airport. these are my people and i love them!

hope you enjoyed reading & re-living my trip with me!

here’s to next time, VEGAS!


dekel¬†& i went to maui, hawaii for our “babymoon” back in may, when i was 22 weeks preggers & we had an ahhmmmaaaazing time. we were there from 5/31 – 6/4 so we had 4 nights and ~5 days to explore the island. i’d¬†love to share where we stayed, what we did & where we ate if you would¬†like to see!

we decided to stay in weilea beach area, as a friend had just been there and recommended it (shout out to ashley!) and also we found this incredible resort¬†& decided it would be totally worth the “splurge.” we are normally airBNB people, but this was a trip we wanted to feel pampered, have our room cleaned daily, enjoy the infinity pool and have a beautiful beach within walking¬†distance. we only booked one activity (snorkeling¬†& swimming with sea turtles!) and made two restaurant reservations before we arrived because we wanted to leave a lot of room for impromptu activities and places to try on a whim and i¬†wouldn’t have done it any other way. we rented a car to pick up at the airport so we could just take off and go upon arrival and i would highly recommend that for convenience.

day 1

do: grab our rental car, check in at the fabulous weilea beach resort, change & head to dinner

eat: dinner- the mill house

we arrived around 2 pm to maui, picked up our rental car & drove ~30 min to our resort. we checked in & were greeted with “welcome drinks” and leis, picked our jaws up off the floor because the resort and scenery were¬†THAT stunning, had our bags brought up to our room, showered & cleaned up from a long travel day, changed & headed out to an early dinner at the mill house to catch the sunset. i can’t express how much we loved the resort we stayed at. from the moment we stepped foot on the property we fell in love and knew this was going to be a magical, special trip. like i said, it was a splurge per night but sooooo worth it! the grounds were pristine, there were hammocks and swings and rocking chairs to chill on, different pools to lay out by, a beach within walking distance and top notch friendly staff. we felt like royalty staying here!

{the beautiful open-aired, spacious & stunning lobby at weilea beach resort}

weilea beach resort maui hawaii babymoon


weilea beach resort maui hawaii babymoon

{the view from our room}

babymoon in maui hawaii weilea beach resort room view

{aloha from maui!}

weilea beach resort maui hawaii babymoon

{the mill house restaurant: also a recommendation by my friend ashley¬†who had just been to maui¬†and said this place reminded her & her husband of ubud, bali (which was a place dek & i LOVED)…and it really did! it was serene and picturesque, the photos don’t do it justice. the clouds were creeping above the mountains, which looked fake in front of our eyes. we couldn’t believe the views from the patio we sat on – it was incredible!}

the mill house maui hawaii babymoon

{dinner views}

ootd the mill house restaurant maui hawaii babymoon


ootd the mill house restaurant maui hawaii babymoon

ootd the mill house restaurant maui hawaii babymoon

{we ordered the swiss chard fritters with parmesan & garlic aioli to nibble on while we waited for dinner}

the mill house restaurant maui hawaii babymoon

{i ordered the tomato, mozzerella & basil pizza}

the mill house restaurant maui hawaii babymoon

{dek had the burger with bacon, cheese, sauteed grilled onion & house sauce}

the mill house restaurant maui hawaii babymoon

day 2

do: snorkeling with sea turtles, lounge by the serenity infinity pool (which is adults only and wonderful) at our resort & go out for dinner

eat: breakfast- buffet on the snorkel boat, lunch- pizza madness, dinner- monkeypod

a snorkeling adventure! we had this planned for bright & early the morning after we arrived, which was friday. we booked this prior to our arrival through this company called lani kai¬†and were to check-in at the boating dock at 6:45 am. we booked the trip that would take us to molokini¬†reef to snorkel & then to “turtle town” to snorkel and swim with sea turtles, which i was SO excited about! this was a really fun adventure but something tragic & disturbing happened while we were on the boat headed to the first stop of the trip, molokini which i feel the need to write about if only to bring awareness that accidents happen and to try to always be as safe as possible. this incident was so unfortunate & scary to witness, but probably could have been avoidable.

all passengers boarded the double-decker¬†boat and breakfast of powdered sugar donuts, bagels & fruit was served. people were sitting/standing around drinking their coffee and chatting and the boat took off toward molokini¬†which was about an hour or so away from the dock. dekel & i sat at the back of the boat on the bottom floor because the stairs to go on the upper level were soooo steep and i thought i would get sea-sick up there, so we sat at the back of the boat on a bench by the stairs to go up, which i can’t express how steep they were! about half way there the crew was walking around asking if people wanted to wear wetsuits because the water was chilly and we might be more comfortable this way and dek & i both wanted one, so we got suited up and took some photos (proof below!) and then as we were approaching molokini reef the water started getting really choppy and rough & the captain announced to stay seated and hold on to the boat rails. dek & i were seated in our spot at the bottom of the steep stairs when out the corner of my eye¬†i see an older woman start to try to descend the stairs. she was holding on to the rail as she was coming down, but a wave crashed into the boat and she fell to the bottom, at our feet, literally almost on me, and just laid there not moving. this all happened so fast and everyone saw/heard what happened. the crew immediatly stopped the boat, rushed to bring her ice, left her laying still as to not move her neck because she fell right on her head and it could have been broken! there was no gushing blood that we saw, but¬†i was so shaken i thought i witnessed death, it was so scary to see. the lady had family with her and after a few minutes¬†paramedics (aka coast guard) were called and came to meet us from a different boat because she needed to go to the emergency room. but they had to cut off her wetsuit and get her on a stretcher and transfer her over to the other boat so we could keep going on our snorkel trip. we were shaken for the rest of the trip and day because of this. i don’t know why the lady tried to come downstairs right after the announcement to stay seated, but i¬†just kept hugging dekel so thankful that this didn’t happen to one of us or someone we know. maybe it was all the preggers emotions, but it was super scary to witness and made me want to do a PSA to be careful out there!

ok, now back to day 2….swimming with the sea turtles was one of the most incredible experiences i’ve ever had- we both agreed it was SO cool and were so glad we did it. we were so close to them, swimming in their element. they would skim and “sleep” down on the sea floor and then come up for little breaths, it was insane to witness these guys so close up. they were not afraid of humans one bit, they’re protected animals so you obviously can’t touch them, but they would swim so close to you that you had to back-paddle to keep from grazing their arms or backs. my favorite thing to do for the hour we had was following them around and just witnessing them, they were massive! after snorkeling, we were all wrinkly, cold and tired and hungry! we got back on the boat and back to land and were in search of lunch so we stopped at pizza madness, which was a place one of my fav bloggers, kathleen barnes, recommended here.¬†it was such good pizza, i didn’t get a photo of it because we ate it so fast- ha! after lunch we went to lay out by the pool and sip some frozen drinks and relax. we loved the infinity pool at our resort, it was a “serenity zone” so no kids were allowed, no floats were allowed in the pool to block the view and waiters would walk by bringing you fresh cucumber water every so often. it was heavenly. we passed some hours in the sun and then went to wash up and change for our dinner reservation at monkeypod, which is a restaurant that kept popping up in searches when i was researching where to eat in maui. they have a location in weilea beach so the drive was like 2 minutes from us and the food was fresh, vibes were good. all in all we loved it!

{heading out to snorkel}

{on the boat about to take off from the dock}

babymoon in maui hawaii weilea beach resort room view

{all suited up, i tried a medium suit on and it didn’t zip over my baby belly so large for me please}

babymoon in maui hawaii weilea beach resort

{beautiful creatures}

babymoon maui hawaii swimming with sea turtles

{pizza madness! sorry no pic of the pizza because we were sooooo hungry & devoured it within minutes}

pizza madness weilea beach maui hawaii babymoon

{post-lunch lounging by the infinity pool at our resort}

infinity pool at weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{virgin pina colada for me!}

infinity pool at weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{22 weeks pregnant}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{my love}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii


ootn at weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{garlic truffle oil fries at monkeypod}

monkeypod at weilea beach maui hawaii

{caesar salad deliciousness}

monkeypod at weilea beach maui hawaii

{coconut pie for dessert – yum!}

monkeypod at weilea beach maui hawaii

day 3

do: road to hana

eat: breakfast- starbucks coffee & cheese danish, lunch- burrito bowls from a hut along the road to hana with ice cream for dessert (not to mention snack stops along the way, like banana bread!), dinner- longhi’s italian seafood & ice cream for dessert from lappert’s

we heard all about this “road to hana” adventure and wanted to do & see it for ourselves! we read it was best to take off early to not get stuck behind cars on the narrow, almost one-way road and that the drive would be very scenic with many fun little stops along the way. you’re basically driving around half the island in the northern region & then you turn around once you get to hana & make your way back before sunsets because navigating that narrow road in the dark would have been scary as hell! we took off from weilea¬†around 6:30 AM and headed toward paia¬†and from there you are officially on the “road to hana” – we downloaded this app because on the trip (which can take 10+ hours!) you don’t get good cell phone reception and the app was a lifesaver and super helpful in knowing when stops were coming up and determining which ones were even worth stopping for. the trip takes so long to complete, not because the island is so large, but because the road is soooo narrow and twisty/turny that you basically have to drive 5-10 mph the whole time, sometimes completely stopping when cars are coming the opposite way. there was even a large branch that was hanging down from a tree over the road when we went & one of the locals (thank goodness he was driving the road too) got out with his machete and knocked it down and some guys helped him move it to the side of the road, otherwise we would have been stuck there for a while. we packed a small backpack & cooler to take with us for a change of clothes/shoes, water, snacks, camera, etc. and then we were off! we figured this trip would take the whole day and we were right…we only got back to the hotel around 7 or so when the sun was setting so it was a full day trip, but so fun & worth it!


{map of maui: for the road to hana adventure we started in weilea beach and headed toward paia and then you drive the whole northern coastline toward a tiny town called hana to turn around & come back the same way. we read that you can continue on that road to get back to weilea that way, but that you need a 4×4, which we did not rent, and we didn’t want to risk getting stuck or fucking up the car}babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{iced coffee in hand, ready to take off}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{one of the many breath-taking waterfalls on the scenic drive}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{at the halfway to hana stand for some snacks}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{i dove right into the homemade banana bread}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{my hot husband & our bright red hotwheels}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{roadtrip selfie. dek did most of the driving since i get such altitude/motion sickness we thought it would be best for me to just ride passenger style and i was fine, thankfully}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{we stopped at koki beach to take some drone photos of surfers}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{lunch stop with a shared soulmate coke- how perfect!}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{ice cream for dessert. coffee toffee for him, coconut for me}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{$2 lei’s for sale – you leave cash in a little bucket and take a handmade lei, so cute of course i had to get one!}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{maui’s black sand beach at waianapanapa state park, was by far my favorite stop along the whole road to hana}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{a stunning sight}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{i could have sat there gazing out for hours}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{gritty, yet soft, black sand}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{22 weeks pregnant & loving life}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{walking to find blow holes}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{we made it to haleakala national park for some hiking & exploration}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{it was so humid –¬†i was a hot, sweaty, sunscreened, bug-sprayed mess}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{bamboo forest along the pipiwai trail – dek showin’ off his upper body strength}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

{beautiful pathway}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii road to hana

day 4

do: eat, relax, explore

eat: breakfast- cinnamon roll place, lunch- snacks on the beach, dinner- rock & brews in paia

we started the day with a sweet breakfast of cinnamon rolls the size of our faces from a little hole-in-the-wall that i read about on carrie bradshaw lied blog here,¬†then we set off to a beautiful beach called makena in weilea near where we were staying to relax, layout & play in the waves (here is a cool 360 video of the cove where we shot some of the photos below!). after laying out for a few hours we went back to our hotel to nap and¬† shower & head out to a small surfer, hippie town ~30 minutes from weilea beach called paia. we passed through it the previous day on the road to hana and i had also read about how quaint it was so i knew i wanted to go back for dinner & to walk around a bit. dinner was delish as we sat outside on a patio to people watch and shared a burger and salad, then i got a famous ululani’s shaved ice for dessert…yum! by the time we were done eating most of the shops & boutiques were closed (this really was a small, sleepy, hippie town which was so cute) but there was one boutique still open where i was able to get a souvenir ring in the shape of a wave, which i still wear today as it reminds me of our babymoon & especially this special place.

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{fresh out the oven}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{big ass cinnamon roll topped with pecans & sweet glaze}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{at makena’s cove/beach – can you spot us?!}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{at 22 weeks pregnant, baby was the size of a coconut}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{view from the sky of makena beach}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{loved the surfer town, hippie vibes of paia}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii paia

{a rainbow!}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii paia

{famous hawaiian shaved ice from ululani’s – i got sour apple, pink lemonade and passionfruit}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii paia


babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii paia

day 5

do: frolick on the beach, lay out by the serenity infinity pool, drink mocktails, pack our bags, enjoy dinner & head home

eat: breakfast- the market near our resort in weilea, lunch- snacks by the serenity infinity pool, dinner- flatbread pizza company in paia

since this was our last day, we toggled between doing an “activity” or just having no plan and soaking up our time together, the resort and the beach and opted for the latter. to start our day we got up at sunrise to take some drone photos at weilea beach which was cool because no one was up yet so we had the whole stretch of sand to ourselves! then we headed off to breakfast nearby for smoothies & sandwiches and then we decided to go chill by our favorite pool at the resort until it was time to check out. even after check out, they held our bags and there was a “post check-out” area with showers and a waiting room so you didn’t have to leave the property or keep your belongings in the car until you had to go to the airport. we wrapped up pool time around 4 and headed back to paia to get pizza from the flatbread company for dinner and then had to head to the airport around 7ish. on the way to dinner i was getting the most horrible cramps of my life, they would come and go but i was uncomfortable the whole meal, not knowing what was going on. i was questioning if it was gas, contractions, etc. my mind was going wild thinking something could be wrong with the baby and we were about to get on a plane to travel home for ~12 hours, it was dreadful. by the time we got to the airport i could barely stand up straight and was cramping so bad i just wanted to get home. the whole plane ride was hell, i was squeezing dek’s arms and tears were rolling down my face but i tried to play it cool to not make the other guy next to me uncomfortable and also there was nothing to do at this point but ride it out…literally. we had 2 stops on our way back to dallas and at one of them i called my doctor describing my symptoms but of course, they wanted me to come in, which i did the next morning after we landed and turns out i had a urinary tract infection. i had never had one before, but seriously those cramps felt like the devil was inside me and it was horrible. the cramps went away after i got back to dallas, but at least all of that discomfort happened at the very tail end of our beautiful babymoon so i was able to enjoy everyday to its fullest. we had the best trip and i’m so glad we chose maui and where we stayed, it was a trip of a lifetime and one that will always be so special to me because it was our last vacation without baby and being parents. it was truly amazing!

{weilea beach}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii

{our sleepy, sunrise faces}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii paia

{i love the ocean}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii paia

{footsteps in the sand}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii paia

{fruit shakes from the market Рcoconut pineapple for me, green for him}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii the market breakfast

{breakfast sandwiches}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii the market breakfast

{poolside virgin pina colada back at our resort}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii paia

{kalmata olive & goat cheese pizza from the flatbread company}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii paia

{beautiful maui on the way back to the airport}

babymoon weilea beach resort maui hawaii


greetings from austin, texas!

a few weekends ago my mom, sister & i took off and road tripped it 3 hours south of dallas to austin for a long weekend to stay, shop and eat our way through the city.

i’d¬†love to share some of the places we visited & loved….if you care to see just scroll on:

Greetings from Austin, TX mural

on our way from dallas to austin¬†we stopped in waco to eat at magnolia table¬†but upon arrival we found out the wait was 3 hours!!!!! um, no. so we took some pics on the property and then walked our butts next door to rudy’s and had some pretty badass bbq and got in & out within 20 minutes, can’t beat that!

magnolia table waco texas

magnolia table waco texas

magnolia table waco texas

magnolia table waco texas

after filling our bellies we were off to visit the magnolia silos since i had never been and wanted to browse around and see what it was all about. the silos were pristine and it was cool to see but i found that everything was overpriced. i would have wanted a candle or something but really didn’t want to pay $30 ūüôĀ¬† it was an awesome “rest stop” don’t get me wrong, loved that they had food trucks and drinks out in this open area where kids can run around and there were games and swings, but the store itself was a bit much. beautiful visual displays though!

magnolia silos waco texas


magnolia silos waco texas

visual display table magnolia silos waco texas

shopping at magnolia silos in waco texas

clocks galore

clock display at magnolia silos in waco texas

mugs on mugs on mugs

visual display cups magnolia silos waco texas

tee shirts for sale

tshirts at magnolia silos waco texas

with mom!

magnolia silos waco texas

after walking around & stretching our legs for a bit, we hopped back in the car to continue our journey to austin & ended up arriving to our airbnb around 3 pm.

roadtrip to austin texas

we opted to stay in the hills versus the city this trip (last time we visited austin we stayed right off congress ave.) and we really enjoyed the peace & quiet of this place. we liked it because it had a pool and hot tub and seemed like a slice of heaven 10 minutes away from the city center. the neighborhood we stayed in was called “cat mountain” and after we checked in and scoping out our weekend digs we made our way to a lookout point the host recommended called “mount bonnell” to snap a few pics overlooking the colorado river.

beautiful pool at our airbnb

austin texas airbnb

austin, texas cityscape at mt. bonnell lookout viewpoint

austin texas skyline

overlooking the colorado river

austin texas colorado river viewpoint

we were ready for dinner at this point so we looked into getting some tacos and discovered “taco joint” via yelp¬†which had great reviews and was on east riverside so we went there for dinner and it really was amazing!

taco joint east riverside austin texas

taco joint east riverside austin texas

left: street taco (grilled sirloin, avocado, cilantro & queso fresco), right: el 420 (beef carnitas in tangy guisadito sauce with shoestring papitas)

taco joint east riverside austin texas

after dinner we wanted to walk around and shop a bit, but it was thursday¬†night and a lot of shops on¬†south¬†congress¬†were already closed, but we found one that was open called maya star, so we poked around a bit & mirelle and i found matching necklaces – we’re such twinks!

maya star south congress austin texas

the cutest rainbow display of real succulents in mini dinosaur & animal holders!!!

maya star south congress austin texas

new necklace, mirelle got the same one but in a pretty peach color

maya star south congress austin texas

i love you so much austin texas mural

we ended the night on a sweet note with ice cream from the¬†tasty spoon¬†on s.1st street, where i got coconut (of course!) and a topo chico. i developed a weird obsession with topo chico this trip, i’ve always loved carbonated water but everywhere we went i would get one!

the tasty spoon ice cream austin texas

the next day we woke up bright & early to get some coffee and set out on a vintage shopping adventure.

we started the morning at mozart’s coffee roasters overlooking the colorado river & sat down to enjoy some caffeine and pastries and map out the hot spots we wanted to hit up and plan our route to be most efficient (on the back of a napkin, ha!)

mozarts coffee roasters austin texas

sister love

mozarts coffee roasters austin texas

breakfast of champions. that flakey cheesy thing was SO good & the coffee cake was TDF!

breakfast pastries at mozarts coffee roasters austin texas

back-of-napkin vintage shopping plan

vintage shopping planning at mozarts coffee roasters austin texas

buffalo exchange was our first stop then we walked across the street to “i luv vintage” and after shopping around those two shops we walked over to steel city pops for a little treat.

i tried strawberry lemonade and it was so yummy!

strawberry lemonade popsicle at steel city pops austin texas

after cooling off we went to the drag area to go into some boutiques and urban outfitters and to find lunch. pizza sounded good to all of us so we hit up austin’s pizza and got big ass slices and split a salad.

austins pizza austin texas

#ootd in the most comfortable target jumpsuit ever! you can find the exact one i’m wearing under “shop my instagram.” it felt like i was wearing pajamas & i received so many compliments on it! win, win.

#ootd austin texas

after lunch we headed to south 1st/congress area to go into some more vintage shops, like bloomers & frocks, flashback & prototype and after all that walking, we decided to head back to our airbnb to rest, with a sno-cone pit stop from sno beach on the way.

i got a mixture of coconut & watermelon, mirelle got passionfruit/pina colada & my mom got margarita flavor. the ice was so smooth it melted in your mouth, it was so tasty!

sno beach sno cone austin texas

we got back to our airbnb & my mom and¬†mel lounged in the hot tub and i napped and once we were all nice and rested it was time to figure out where to go eat again ūüôā

i was craving bbq and when in austin….you eat bbq, so we found iron works downtown and headed that way. at this point it was 8:30 so they were out of a few sides and things, but they still had brisket and the food was pretty damn good.

i had the brisket with beans and macaroni & cheese, with extra pickles and a topo chico.

iron works bbq austin texas

you can probably guess at this point that after dinner we wanted a bite of something sweet ūüôā my mom wanted to treat us to dessert at the four season’s, so we walked there and split two very decadent options from their restaurant “trio” & sat out on the patio, which was so nice. we ordered the flourless chocolate brownie and the fireside s’mores – the s’mores was my fav!

the whole time we were eating dessert we were eying this hammock in their courtyard steps away from us so once we paid the bill we ran over to it and all 3 got in. a tickle war broke out and i love that mirelle snapped this action photo of us laughing because it sums up our relationship perfectly. i love traveling with these two!

laughing with mom and mirelle austin texas

saturday was the last full day of our trip so we woke up early(ish) to grab some coffee from epoch & breakfast from the omlettery.

epoch coffee austin texas

epoch coffee austin texas

breakfast time! we split all of this food and it was the perfect amount.

the omlettery austin texas

when we went in to breakfast i saw there was a juice bar next door so i saved some room and ordered one after we ate from the soup peddler.

i created my own mixture with orange, grapefruit, pineapple & watermelon and loved the tangy/tart/sweet combo.

the soup peddler austin texas

we shopped some more and by the time we knew it it was noon and we were all in agreement that it was time for lunch. we wanted something simple like soup & salad but wanted to try a new-to-us place and something that was unique to austin and my mom found a gem! it’s called foodheads cafe & was nestled in an old austin home the had the most quaint patio.

food heads cafe austin texas

foodheads cafe austin texas

i ordered vegan coconut milk tomato bisque with a greek salad and salt & vinegar chips, plus a topo chico (duh)

food heads cafe austin texas

post-lunch we went to check out the graffiti park at castle hills to snap some photos & it was so chaotic! there were so many photoshoots going on it was nuts and the smell of spray paint was intoxicating, but we were able to find some cute areas we liked and i got these shots:

graffiti park austin texas

 graffiti park castle hills austin texas

it was about time for another something-sweet so we went to the famous amy’s ice cream for a cone. i got sweet cream with¬†jr. mint mixed in a waffle cone.

amys ice cream austin texas

after food &¬†photos, it was suntanning at our aibnb time. we relaxed until the shade took over and then got ready to meet up with our cousin matt & his girlfriend ashley at mandola’s for dinner, which was the cutest little italian restaurant!

suntanning austin texas

my mom & i split a salad and pizza with olives, goat cheese and sausage

pizza at mandolas austin texas

family dinner at mandola’s with gelato in-hand!

dinner with family at mandolas austin texas

& that’s a wrap! the next morning we woke up to make our way back to dallas, making an obligatory break at the¬†czech stop in west, texas

czech stop west texas

thank you for reading and scrolling through the tons of photos from our trip.

i love austin & had so much to share and wanted to document this mom/daughter trip forever as it was one for the books!


a few weeks ago dek & i went to sunny south beach miami to escape the cold, rainy wave that hit dallas. we wanted a quick getaway that was¬†close by (it was 2.5 hour flight) & where we could just relax and explore a new city. we love traveling together and this trip was no exception, we had so much fun & below¬†i’ll share our whereabouts and findings along with a video we made!

leaving dallas from love field airport to go to south beach miami

day 1

– we checked into¬†our¬†airbnb–¬†it was nestled in a residential street on jefferson ave. & 4th street just a stone’s throw from all the action and the beaches. everything was within walking distance & we loved the bohemian vibe of this place. we looovvve airbnb & use them everytime we travel!

bohemian bedroom south beach airbnb
bohemian style living room airbnb south beach miami
kitchen airbnb south beach miami

*pics from airbnb website

 Рwe walked around to find lunch and discovered the cutest little walk-up sandwich bar called la sandwicherie

lunch at la sandwicherie south beach miami

lunch at la sandwicherie south beach miami

 Рheaded to the beach to listen to the waves & catch the sunset

by the beach south beach miami

¬†– dinner at news cafe, a cute outdoor patio with string lights on ocean dr. i got a mediterranean salad with feta, kalamata olives, pickles and tabouleh with a side of fried cheese sticks (i couldn’t decide between the two things so i got both!) & dek got a burger and sweet potato fries

Mediterranean salad dinner at news cafe south beach miami

– after dinner we walked around & discovered this cute alleyway called “espanola¬†way” that was very lively with music playing. we had just eaten so we didn’t stop, but i loved the vibe of this area, it was so cute with outdoor chandeliers & string lights (i’m a sucker for string lights!)

espanola way south beach miami

 day 2

 Рheaded straight to the beach where we saw the prettiest water with so many shades of blue

at the beach in south beach miami

 Рbeach essentials: murder mystery book, towel, water, sunscreen & combos!

beach essentials south beach miami

(it was def not saturday, but i love this hat & was needing to shield my eyebrows from the sun since i just had this treatment done)

working on my tan in south beach miami

peace sign at south beach in miami

– after spending hours at the beach we went to our airbnb to rest/nap and then headed to dinner at pizza rustica¬†(dek representin’ our fav dallas pizza place greenville avenue pizza company ūüôā )

dinner at pizza rustica south beach miami

#ootn south beach miami

 Рwe walked around after dinner popping in & out of souvenir shops, boutiques and shopping at h&m i really worked up a second appetite we stopped for a late-night snack at this place called spitfire. we got a schwarma to share. schwarma is a mix of meats (lamb, turkey, beef) shaved off a large spinning skewer and stuffed into a pita with tons of toppings like cucumber, tomato, pickled carrot, hummus, etc. i miss israeli schwarma sooooo bad but this came really close to being like the real thing!

schwarma at spitfire south beach miami

Рafter that we found our way back to ocean dr. for pinkberry frozen yogurtpinkberry south beach miami

me and dek on ocean dr in south beach miami

day 3

Рanother day, another beach. this time we took an uber to north shore open park for a change of scenery. it was just as beautiful as the beach by where we were staying but had significantly fewer buildings & people

north shore open park miami beach

north shore open park miami beach florida

(saturday hat making an appearance mid-week again)

saturday target hat south beach miami

beach bum at north shore open park miami beach

 Рafter being beach bums for a few hours, we ubered it back to south beach area & got ourselves an ice cream before heading to our airbnb to shower, rest, change and then head back out for dinner

ice cream in south beach miami– we walked to dinner at 11st street diner & sat on the patio where i had a BLT with a side of mac and cheese & dek had a burger and fries

heading to dinner in south beach miami
walking to dinner in south beach miami

day 4

Рby this day you could probably guess that we started off by going to the beach (ha!) we went really early because dek wanted to take sunrise drone photography & footage for our video and we stopped to take a few photos along the way at some colorful not-in-use-anymore lifeguard stands

heading to the beach south beach miami

south beach at sunrise

colorful lifeguard stands south beach miami

colorful lifeguard stands south beach miami

palm tree south beach miami(taken with dekel’s drone: mavic pro)drone photography south beach miami

south beach miami view from the sky with drone photography

at the beach south beach miami

¬†– after playing around with the drone at the beach and working on our tans, we got cleaned up & headed to lunch at jalepeno kitchen on ocean dr. where we had a really overpriced mexican food meal. the food wasn’t bad, but we didn’t realize how expensive it was until we had already ordered….a small bowl of guacamole was $15!!!! crazy. i had nachos and a pina colada & dekel had fajitas and a margarita that he didn’t even drink because he said it was too sweet and watered down, womp womp. you win some, you lose some.

walking to dinner in south beach miami

pina colade jalepeno mexican kitchen south beach

 Рwith full bellies we headed to our airbnb to shower and relax. i read some of my book & then we watched netflix before going out for more food. we found a place really close to us called pura vida and split a caesar salad & lentil soup because we were still kinda full from lunch

dinner at pura vida juice bar south beach miami

dinner at pura vida south beach miami

day 5

 Рenjoyed the beach as this was our last full day we wanted to soak it up

walking into the ocean with dekel south beach miami

¬†– after beachin’ it (i really didn’t want to leave!) we went to wash the sand off our bodies and head to an early dinner at yard house on lincoln ave.¬†which is this really cool outdoor walking/shopping/restaurant strip that’s blocked off from traffic and runs the whole length of the island. after dinner we went to the movies to see red sparrow which was really good (gory, but good)ootn in south beach miami

– from yard house, i ordered a fresh cobb salad that was divine.¬†i’ve been meaning to recreate at home, it was so simple & yummy!

cobb salad at yard house on lincoln avenue in south beach miami

lincoln avenue south beach miami

Рto wrap up the evening we walked around on lincoln avenue & got gelato (i got lemon & strawberry sorbet!) and then walked back to our airbnb which was like a 30 min walk, but it was so fun to walk & talk and people watch along the way! we needed to pack since sadly we were leaving the next morninggelato on lincoln avenue south beach miami

day 6

 Рwe slept in as much as we could and then went out for breakfast at big pink breakfast at big pink south beach miami

last day in south beach miami

¬†& that’s it ūüôā

we had a blast & would recommend south beach and especially our airbnb if you’re in the area.

hope you liked this post & have a great week!


after visiting beautiful south kuta¬†to see some of bali’s best beaches and ubud to explore nature, dek & i wrapped up our two-week bali adventure in seminyak, which is a beach-front area near the airport. we wanted to spend the last few days unwinding and relaxing to the max before heading back to dallas. we read about potato head beach club¬†& many quaint cafes so those types of things were on our to-do list, but not much else. we splurged a bit on our airbnb¬†in this location at ~$155/night but i was pretty adamant¬†about staying somewhere special for our last few nights & somewhere that was in a good location close to everything & this place did not disappoint. allira villas were amazing! everything from the open-concept villa itself to the friendly staff, they even came by in the evenings and lit mosquito coils for us! we couldn’t believe the whole place was for us, it was huge. there were a few of these villas down a palm-tree lined path from the main road and our location was central to everything, we walked everywhere here. there are so many restaurants and boutiques in this area so it was fun to have new places to go every day all at your fingertips.

scroll down to see more pics & read about our adventures ūüôā

pathway off the main road to our private villa in allira villas, which we booked through airbnb

allira villa seminyak bali indonesia

allira villas seminyak bali

what you see right when you walk through the front door of our private villa, you can see me in the mirror in the kitchen

allira villa seminyak bali indonesia

view from opposite direction (standing in the kitchen)

allira villa seminyak bali indonesia

our own private plunge pool

allira villa seminyak bali indonesia

the bedroom was lovely and spacious. it even had a dvd player so one night we rented a movie (they sell them bootleg off the streets for like $1) and stayed in and cuddled up

allira villa seminyak bali indonesia

private plunge pool

allira villa private pool seminyak bali indonesia

showing off that #balibody i worked so hard to achieve before our trip.

i started working out by running with my dogs at the park & stuck to a keto diet for about 2 months leading up to when we left and lost ~25 lbs.

allira villa seminyak bali indonesia

coffee @sisterfields cafe

sisterfields cafe seminyak bali

we loved this place! it was constantly busy, food was great, coffee was divine and even the bathrooms were cool!

sisterfields cafe seminyak bali

there are many beach club resort-type places around seminyak but potato head was right down from where we were staying. we tried to go the first day we arrived, but it was like 2 in the afternoon & there was really nowhere to sit and chill so we decided to come back the next day early a little before it opened and reserve a daybed. i would totally recommend doing this, as we got to pick our spot (they show you a map of the beds and we chose the one close to the pool in the center) and the price was soooo worth it! they ask you to reserve the bed by paying $50 (which mind you, is kinda pricey in bali) but that amount goes toward drink and food credit and after spending ~5 hours there we both agreed it was well worth it. we literally lounged around all day reading our books, sipping cocktails, eating and dipping in and out of the infinity pool. #potatoheadbeachclub

potato head beach club seminyak bali indonesia


potato head beach club seminyak bali indonesia

hers: coconut negroni (campari, sweet vermouth, gin & coconut rum in a coconut), his: stark “made in bali” wheat beer

potato head beach club seminyak bali

potato head beach club seminyak bali

selfie of our hot, sweaty selves after tanning all day @potatoheadbeachclub

potato head beach club seminyak bali

for dinner that evening we took our sunburned butts to nook, which is a restaurant overlooking rice fields a little aways from the hustle & bustle, it was tucked in a side “street” which was kind of scary to walk down at night once it got dark, but we loved this place!

dinner at nook seminyak bali

pretty flowers & an offering on the streets of seminyak

the streets of seminyak bali

we made friends with this pup that was like our shadow, he followed us for a long time!

the streets of seminyak bali

so we stopped at a shop & bought him tuna from a can ūüôā

the streets of seminyak bali

helmets on helmets

motorcycle helmets in seminyak bali

coffee & breakfast at sea circus with a side of a good quote


breakfast at sea circus seminyak bali

avocado toast with eggs while people watching

breakfast at sea circus seminyak bali

for dinner i really wanted a good pasta so we discovered this place called zibiru and it was a hole-in-the-wall but opened to a beautiful hidden courtyard with candles everywhere and delicious food & wine

italian dinner at zibiru seminyak bali

zibiru italian dinner seminyak bali

walking the streets of seminyak, you look up everywhere to so many tangled electrical wires

tangled electrical wires seminyak bali

wrapping up our last night in seminyak with gelato of course! i got myself 2 scoops, 1 coconut and 1 caramel (yum!!!)

ice cream seminyak bali

 & that concludes our bali trip, broken up into a few posts by location Рi hope you enjoyed reading about and seeing bali through our eyes.

if you missed it, here are 5 tips you should read before you travel to bali & here are some travel scrapbooking tips if you’re into that kinda thing.

thank you for reading!


i’d love to share leg #2 of our two-week trip to bali, which was in ubud! we made this location the longest stay of trip, at 5 days, and wished we had more time at the end. ubud is famous¬†for being featured in the julia roberts movie “eat, pray, love,” which really only depicts a sliver of what this place is all about. yes, it’s spiritual, crafty and holistic, but there’s so much more depth to this magical place on earth. we didn’t go there because of the movie, but once you are there they offer tours so you can visit the places you saw in the movie if you want. we wanted to explore the nature, soak up the culture and see sights on our own terms, which is exactly what we did. ubud is nestled in such a lush and beautiful area of the county, you can spend days exploring the streets, nature, surrounding mountains, waterfalls, beaten paths, markets, etc. upon arrival we felt the hustle bustle vibe, but yet it also felt serene. contradictory, i know, but there is something unexplainable about the way ubud made me feel, it was just a fun place. there’s so much to do and see and so much going on at all times. it’s not “the city that never sleeps” because places did close down quite early many nights, but we really enjoyed visiting here and would go back.¬†i would love to share our adventure with you through the zillions of photos we took, if you care to see:

we visited monkey forest. i’m¬†nuts & didn’t even want to go to monkey forest! i didn’t think it would be that cool and was kind of scared they would jump on me (which they did!), but this experience is unlike any other and i ended up falling in love with the ubud monkeys. they own this park though, it’s their territory including the streets in front of the park entrance, they jump from vendor stall roof to roof and even on people if they want something you are holding/eating so beware! there are rules posted up at the entrance like “don’t panic if they jump on you,” “don’t look them directly in the eye,” “don’t bring in any plastic bags,” etc. because they are vicious, territorial and protective of their young and will snarl or snatch things from you, we saw a guys camera bag get taken up to the trees, so keep your shit strapped on. but if you follow the rules and respect them in their habitat you will be fine. we really warmed up to them and on our last day we even bought bananas specifically to feed them and get close to them –¬†i¬†seriously loved the monkeys!

ubud bali monkey forest

monkeys in monkey forest ubud bali indonesia

magical steps in monkey forest ubud bali


monkeys in monkey forest ubud bali indonesia

ubud monkeys grooming each other

monkeys grooming each other in ubud monkey forest bali Indonesia

monkey grooming each other monkey forest ubud bali

baby feeding on mom monkey

ubud bali monkey forest baby monkey

monkey crossing sign ubud monkey forest bali

monkey crossing ubud monkey forest bali

we filled our bellies with delicious food from bali buda

buda bali burger lunch ubud bali

walking the streets of ubud, admiring all the gigantic trees and their roots

giant tree roots ubud bali

i found a tiny hole-in-the-wall place that served creamy coconut ice cream on steroids. they offered it with toasted shaved coconut & candied coconut pieces on top and i was in heaven. #coconutfanatic

i went there daily to get my fix & even bought a pack of the candied coconut sprinkles to bring home with me.

coconut ice cream ubud bali

rooster crossing

rooster crossing the street ubud bali


an offering to the gods on the streets of ubud, bali

offering to the gods on the streets of ubud bali

balinese woman harvesting & sifting rice in the fields. this was amazing to watch and makes me appreciate every grain of rice that ends on up my plate now from seeing how hard it is to harvest.

Balinese women sifting rice in the fields ubud bali

the market in ubud, bali.

there are some outdoor sections & some indoor stalls and you can bargain with the vendors. the key is knowing when and how to do this & i consider myself a “master bargainer” ūüôā

we got some great deals on table runners, housewares items, t-shirts, souvenirs, etc.

market in ubud bali

pups in a boutique i popped into- they were so cute & playful!

boutique dogs ubud bali

fruit stand with bananas, watermelon, coconut & pineapple

mangoes and watermelons galore ubud bali

petrol for sale in liquor bottles

petrol in liquor bottles ubud bali

overload, yet this was a “normal” daily sight

bamboo on a truck ubud bali

night festival of people in streets wearing white and carrying umbrellas and statues.

the only thing missing from the below photo is the sound…they were playing looouuddd¬†balinese music and people all along the street stopped to appreciate the seemingly random event.

night festival in the streets of ubud bali

a beautiful palm tree lined pathway

palm tree lined pathway ubud bali

dek & i took an organized sunrise trek to the top of mt. batur, which is over 5,600 ft in elevation! we were picked up from our homestay around 2 am or so and we collected a few more people along the way & then stopped for a quick breakfast of pancakes, bananas and hot tea with other people who were doing the same trek. after a quick bite in the freezing cold (bali is hot but in the mountain areas and super early like this it can get really chilly), we then set out with flashlights and our guide. it was pitch black out and the hike itself took about an hour and was extremely steep. it was still dark out when we reached the top and we witnessed the sunrise break over the mountains in the distance. that beautiful moment is when the altitude dizziness hit me. i was fine while hiking, but once we were standing still and i could see down below i just felt queezy and had to throw up and started to feel weak.

sunrise trek ubud bali

i felt like shit here, but mustered up a smile ūüôā

sunrise trek ubud bali

throwing up & lightheaded on the hike back down, which took twice as long as the hike up because we went a different route that wasn’t as steep. i had to stop a few times to breathe & take a water break, i also wrapped my shirt on my head to keep the sun out of my eyes because at this point it was hot and bright as hell.

sunrise trek ubud bali

after the trek, the guide took us to a coffee plantation where you can see coffee trees and buy the famous “kopi luwak,” which is kind of a gross concept but for some reason people love it. it’s basically an animal that consumes the coffee cherries and ferments the cherries as they pass through the intestines and then they poop it out and it’s collected, cleaned and made into coffee. pretty sick and weird, but it’s a whole thing there. we didn’t try it, but it was nice to be back on normal elevation and sit and relax for a minute, as i had shaky legs and an uneasy stomach from the hike.

coffee plantation ubud bali

coffee bean cherries right on the tree. a coffee bean is a seed of the coffee plant, it’s the pit of the red fruit or the “cherry.” most of the cherries contain two seeds, but in a case where there is only one seed it’s called a “peaberry,” and those are said to have more flavor…supposedly.

coffee cherries ubud bali

the cherry part is mushy, but the beans are hard as rocks and come out a tinted green color

coffee cherries ubud bali

dried, unroasted coffee beans, they kind of look like peanuts!

unroasted coffee beans ubud bali

roasted coffee beans

roasted coffee beans ubud bali

our driver stopped for us at the famous tegallalang rice terraces since we were already in this area. it’s a very touristy spot and i was told these rice terraces are now only for “show” and they do not harvest here, but it was a beautiful sight. they went on for as far as your eye could see. we didn’t go trekking in them as we didn’t have time, but we appreciated the moment from atop.

famous rice terraces ubud bali


love bali rice terraces ubud bali

famous rice terraces ubud bali

we went white water rafting on the telaga waja river, which was hands down the coolest experience! we don’t have any photos us actually rafting (womp womp)¬† because we were nervous to take our phones in the sketchy waterproof bags & didn’t have a gopro at the time (major sad face!), but it was so exhilarating and beautiful all along the way. it was like a scene out of fern gully, moss climbing up the walls, waterfalls spitting out at you, locals harvesting rice waving at us as we passed on the river. there were only 4 of us in the raft with a guide and it was such a fun adventure. at the end of the rafting, lunch was served overlooking the lush green hills.

love birds in ubud bali

lunch of noodles, veggie rice and french fry strings

lunch after white water rafting ubud bali

back at our homestay, meruhdani, suntanning a bit before heading out for our daily massage

sunbathing at meruhdani ubud bali

the pool at our homestay, meruhdani. we HIGHLY recommended this place if you are looking for somewhere to stay in ubud, it was only like $35/night & centrally located, plus the staff were so friendly & helpful!

pool at meruhdani ubud bali

umah pizza was down the street from where we stayed and we went there a few times because we loved it so much, this pizza was so yummy!

umah pizza ubud bali


bintang beer ubud bali

bikes on bikes on bikes.

we were not brave enough to rent one, but maybe if we stayed longer we would have.

we got around with taxi’s or by walking mostly.

so many motorbikes ubud bali

walking to the campuhan ridge walk

walking to the campuhan ridge walk ubud bali

woman carrying on her head campuhan ridge walk

loved this place

campuhan ridge walk ubud bali

campuhan ridge walk ubud bali

unbelievable sights

campuhan ridge walk ubud bali

couple pic at campuhan ridge walk

thank you for reading! 

next up i will be posting about the last place we stayed in bali…seminyak!


welcome to the beautiful area of south kuta, bali, where the beaches are pristine and the lifestyle is laid-back. locals wash & dry their clothes in the front yard, chickens & dogs cross¬†the roads, families on motorbikes are bustling and beach-hopping is the thing to do. it’s very cheap in this region and if you ever make it to this part of the world, i would highly recommend starting your trip out with this little slice of paradise. i would love to share our quick adventure to this part of the world and some of the best beaches in south kuta, bali that we found.

dek & i kicked off our two-week journey to bali in south kuta especially because we could not wait to set our eyes on and jump into the waters of some of the prettiest beaches. in the most southern region of south kuta the majority of the beaches (at least the more secluded ones) are onlu accessible by walking down hundreds of stairs. we went to 2 beaches that required the descend (green bowl & gunung payung) & it was intense! definitely worth it if you’re up for it, it only takes ~10 minutes to climb down, but going back up after you’re sunbaked and sleepy kinda sucked. the beaches are close enough together that you could see a few in one day, which we did, or if you have more time, slow down your pace & visit a different beach each day. some are known for surfing, some are secluded for privacy, some are good for snorkeling, etc. just research which beaches draw you in and what you think you would enjoy the most.

we love airbnb & used it to book all of our stays in bali. we wanted to stay in a bed & breakfast-y type places so we could mingle with other travelers and also not have to worry about filling our bellies every morning. for south kuta we originally booked this room in sun & surf stay,¬†which is a homestay on bingin beach for $110/night. we were so excited to wake up every morning to the ocean view, smell the sea-water & hear the waves from our room but exactly one month before our trip i received a message that our reservation had been canceled. we contacted the host and discovered that a fire broke out on the beach & their building burned down so it would be shut down for construction during the times we booked.¬†it was horrible news and luckily no one was seriously injured, but it left us without a plan for the first leg of our two-week trip to bali. we digested this news and then got a bit worried that this late in the game there would be nowhere else to stay for a reasonable price that we liked, but airbnb swooped in and compensated us for our “inconvenience” and we quickly found a room in a hidden clifftop mansion overlooking the southern beaches of south kuta¬†for even cheaper per night than our original booking, at ~$40/night. it was in a different area that we originally planned on setting up as home-base and wasn’t beachfront, but it’s location overall was close to beaches we wanted to explore & the whole situation turned out to be a blessing in disguise.¬†villa adila deserves 10 stars! it was a great place to land after a long travel period and flight and they greeted us with a welcome cup of tea and warm smiles. it had an upscale, designer vibe mixed with a local and homey feel. we were close enough to the best beaches on the southern peninsula of south kuta but remote enough that you truly felt like you had your own personal slice of heaven to come back to & relax. there were about 8-10 rooms total in this mansion house on multiple levels & the whole space was all open concept with a rooftop viewpoint and infinity pool. this place was dreamy! the people working there were extremely friendly & helpful with everything from motorbike rentals to ordering pizza when we didn’t feel like going out and of course transportation/restaurant recommendations, etc. there was a communal breakfast served every morning at a beautiful balinese wooden table that was at least 20 feet in length. the walk-up bar held a giant bowl of fresh fruit (watermelon, banana, mango, dragon fruit), avocado toast, homemade peanut butter and coffee and we could order any kind of eggs. the cherry on top was the fresh baby baby coconut water with bamboo straws (plastic straws are being banned in bali, read more about this movement here) and the delicious¬†fresh fruit shakes they would whip up in the kitchen.

it was easy & cheap to rent a motorbike, we paid ~$6/day and the hosts at our airbnb helped us organize this. i would highly recommend it, otherwise you must rely on uber and it’s not that advanced on the island. we did use uber at night because we didn’t feel comfortable driving the motorbike past dark, but during the day we preferred to be more independent and have the freedom to pick up & take off when we wanted. in renting a motorbike we were able to check out 4 different beaches within 3 days & also stop to take as many photos along the way as we wanted.

the night we arrived and the day we left we didn’t have time to explore, so total we enjoyed 3 full days in south kuta,¬†scroll down for a play-by-play of where we stayed & what we did:

entrance to our lovely airbnb- villa adila

villa adila south kuta bali indonesia

all open & breezy

villa adila south kuta bali indonesia

communal breakfast area & an infinity pool with an ocean view.

we loved lounging poolside after breakfast and in the evenings to chillax for a bit & read a chapter or two in our books. when on vacay, murder mystery books are my fav &¬†dek reads financial freedom mindset books (always).¬†we even had a lovely candlelit, romantic pizza dinner poolside one night – one of the friendly staff members helped us order dinner online through a local app they use for delivery from local restaurants (ther’s no favor or grubhub, ha!) and spoke to the driver when they called for directions to the mansion. then he went above & beyond and lit candles and brought a glass of wine for us to enjoy with our pizza meal.

villa adila infinity pool south kuta bali indonesia

 this was my typical spread of fresh fruit, toast of some sort & authentic, homemade peanut butter that was gritty textured and so yummy with fresh coconut water/milk mixture to wash it down. there was also your choice of eggs, endless coffee with coconut milk and they rotated different exotic fruit shakes daily, so sometimes it was strawberry watermelon, sometimes it was dragonfruit berry, etc.

communal breakfast villa adila south kuta bali indonesia

hydrating with baby baby coconut water at villa adila in south kuta bali

villa adila communal breakfast table south kuta bali indonesia

villa adila infinity pool south kuta bali indonesia

for dinner on our first night we took the reco of someone staying at our airbnb & ended up at this warung that had a street food flair.

order at the counter to start with your “main dish” and then, in a similar fashion to chipotle, go down the line and add all sorts of noodles, worm-looking things, flavored tofu and toppings, piling it all on to pay by weight.

my meal, including the beer and tip, was ~$3.


dek with our rented motorbike!

dekel with our rented motorbike in south kuta villa adila bali indonesia

we would always head into town to pick up a few water bottles & snacks before starting our day

south kuta bali indonesia

offering outside of a gas station

offering at gas station south kuta bali

the first beach we explored, since it was SO close to where we were staying, was melasti beach.

this is one of the few beaches you could drive all the way down a narrow paved road to get to the sand (even past where that pink tiny car is in the photo below) and for that reason, we thought it might be kind of crowded but NO ONE was there. we had the beach basically to ourselves…until sunset when the fisherman came out.

melasti beach south kuta bali indonesia

melasti beach south kuta bali indonesia

on day 2 we motorbiked it to balangan beach so dek could try surfing ūüôā

i loved laying out, reading my book & people watching.

when we were ready to grab lunch we walked ~20 feet to a warung and ordered a burger, salad & beer – it was a perfect day.

all of those little dots in the ocean in the below photo are surfers!

balangan beach south kuta bali indonesia

the many warungs along balangan beach

warungs on balangan beach south kuta bali indonesiabalangan beach south kuta bali indonesiabalangan beach south kuta bali indonesia

dek preparing to surf for the first time

dekel surfing at balangan beach

dekel surfing at balangan beach south kuta bali

sandy beach pup who was worn our from surfing with his owner

the endless offerings you will find all over the island. these palm leaf boats were loaded with carnations, crackers & mentos and stuffed in a small worship area by the beach


on day 3 we made our way to green bowl beach & gunung payung beach, they are a short distance from each other.

bright graffiti & monkeys in the streets on the way to green bowl beach.

graffiti and monkeys on the way to green bowl beach south kuta bali indonesia

a snapshot of the 100’s of steps leading down to beautiful green bowl.

my legs were definitely shaking at the end!

steps to green bowl beach south kuta bali indonesia

we made it!

green bowl beach bali indonesia

it was so cool to be at green bowl beach in real life after seeing it so many times online!

green bowl beach south kuta bali best beaches

green bowl beach bali indonesia

after green bowl beach, we headed to gunung payung beach which was only a short drive by motorbike.

you park your car/motorbike at the top of the cliff and walk down a path lined by hanging green vines (that we kept seeing all over bali & are sooo cool!), that pathway then ends and the steep steps begin. you descend and then start to see the bright blue ocean peek through the trees.

green vines on the way to beach south kuta bali

south kuta best beach in bali


waves splashing at the beach south kuta bali

peace sign in the sand south kuta bali indonesia

cotton candy sky view from back at our airbnb

cotton candy sky at villa adila south kuta bali indonesia

on our last night in south kuta we had a sunset dinner at single finn.

if you ever go bring your hat and sunglasses, wear sunscreen and plan to sweat…that sun is bright & hot AF

single fin restaurant south kuta bali indonesia

on our last day in south kuta we were able to enjoy breakfast, then we had to pack and check out. we used uber to get to our next destination, which was ubud!!! the drive time was ~1.5 hours & we later found out that uber is banned in ubud and there are certain drop-off areas before you enter the city that you’re suppposed to use. our driver was a rule-breaker and dropped us off at the driveway of our next airbnb but once you get to ubud you can rent a motorbike (if you are ballsy enough, we were not!), take a cab or mainly walk. i have a post on¬†ubud¬†coming soon!

last day in south kuta, on the rooftop at villa adila


5 tips for visiting south kuta:

1. plan a few beaches you want to visit because there are so many in this area, but leave a little room for flexibility so you can receive local recommendations. the people working where we stayed had some great recos & they left tons of useful information like a booklet of “bali’s best beaches” in our room. our “must see” list had green bowl beach and balangan beach on it (so dek could try surfing!) and once we got there we decided to also go check out¬†melasti beach and¬†gunung payung¬†beach.

2. rent a motorbike. it’s only ~$6/day & will give you flexibility and mobility. it’s tough to flag down a taxi or uber sometimes & in case you want to run “into town” or hop over to another beach, it’s best to have your own wheels.

3. bring sunscreen from home. it’s way more expensive in bali (at least compared to how cheap a bottle is where i live in dallas) and you need to lather up. wear more sunscreen than you think you will need & keep re-applying. i was watching dekel surf for about 2 hours on balangan beach and i was completely covered by the umbrella, but still managed to get burned. the sun in this region is intense and shade isn’t enough to protect you.

4. get a SIM card. it’s only ~$10 and it gives you internet and a few minutes to call/text. you can also reload this at any point in your trip, so start small.

5. less is more. you will already be getting sandy and sweaty, don’t get hot & bothered by trying to wear jeans, layer on jewelry or spend an hour doing your makeup. it’s best to pack and think light -you can do laundry in many places around town, we walked 3 minutes from our airbnb & found a family home with a sign in the front yard and gave them our business for $1.50 (it’s always nice to tip, too).


bali two week vacation scrapbook memories

as you saw from my last post, dek and i went on a crazy, fun 2-week adventure around bali and in order to keep the memories fresh and get them to last longer than our minds could keep the colors and images crisp, i decided to make a bali vacation scrapbook. we don’t really keep any photo albums around our home, so¬†i figured a more creative way to remind us of our trip, like¬†a scrapbook, could be something we keep on the coffee table or in our living room bookshelves to flip through and relive that experience.

below are 5 tips i followed to plan out & execute my scrapbook that i thought could be helpful to you if you ever want to do something like this for a trip you take.

5 tips for travel scrapbooking:

1. collect things

do this throughout the whole trip. things like plane tickets, receipts or napkins from restaurants, mementos from places you stay or visit, tags from things you buy, etc. also try to photograph the small things that will help remind you of the details of the trip, this could be the sky that day, the sign in front of the hotel, your shadows on the sidewalk, etc.

bali memories scrapbook indonesia vacation

2. print photos like a crazy person

once you are back from your trip, print tons of photos…more than you think you will need. i always end up cutting my photos down so it helps to have more than less. i would also recommend organizing them in chronological order, not mandatory, but this is how i did it

bali two week vacation scrapbook memories

3. use magazine cutouts to bring it to life

gather a few old magazines and look for fun phrases and words that help describe your trip and backgrounds that are relevant to your trip that you could glue the images you printed out on

bali two week vacation scrapbook memories

4. buy a scrapbook and inserts

i got mine from hobby lobby (here it is) and i specifically wanted one with 10 pages so the entire book could be 20 flipable pages. i also recommend colorful insert pages (like these) to glue the images and magazine cut-outs on, these pages are slightly thicker and more durable than like printer paper, but that could work too

bali two week vacation scrapbook memories

5. plan out how you want to tell the story of your trip & how many pages you will need

if you get a scrapbook with a set amount of pages, you will probably want to fill them all up, if you want to leave some empty that’s fine too, but this step will ensure you plan a little bit more upfront so that execution would be seamless. you probably want to start this project on a large surface and maybe even put newspaper or something under your stuff so you don’t get glue on your table. my suggestion would be to layout your designs on the pages and try to see that you have every page accounted for with “content.” i like to have the pages balanced in terms of business, so it doesn’t seem like the photos or pages become sparse as you get to the end because naturally it’s easy to front-load, but it needs to have a good flow. when you are finally ready to create your pages, use a glue stick to put everything in place and once the glue has dried, slide the completed pages into the protective clear plastic sheets in the scrapbook

bali two week vacation scrapbook memories

& voila! you’re done!

have you created a travel scrapbook? i think i will make one for our upcoming costa rica trip, too!


trip to bali indonesia from dallas texas

last year we checked a major travel destination off our bucket list by traveling across the world to BALI! bali¬†is an island of indonesia. the whole province is made up by a few additional just-as-stunning islands (which we sadly didn’t have time to visit this trip) and overall bali is pretty small but spread out and vast in terms of scenery and even getting from one place to the other. i would love to document our two-week journey & share it with the world to hopefully encourage others to visit this magical place at least once in their lifetime. it was a life-changing experience to say the least…we will be back for sure.

we ventured 9,785 miles to an island i only ever dreamed of. this destination felt so out-of-reach and far-fetched before, but when dek & i¬†moved to the states and he was going to apply for american¬†citizenship i teased him that he could thank me by taking me to bali…and he did! it is much more difficult to be granted an indonesian¬†visa with an israeli¬†passport so with his american passport we celebrated & booked it for two weeks. we made it a priority¬†to set aside money each month to save¬†for the trip. the flights were the most expensive part at around $1,100 roundtrip per person, but once we got to bali¬†everything was¬†cheap and very¬†affordable. the entire trip ended up costing us about $5,000 and that includes everything from insurance, flights, shopping, lodging, experiences, etc.

the travel was no small feat. total travel time including layovers (& we chose the shortest, cheapest flight we could find!) was about ~32 hours. we left from dallas and stopped in seattle, then taipei and then finally on to bali. we knew what we were getting into, but it never makes long travel like that any easier.

in order to see a good variety of the island we broke our trip into 3 different parts of the country, staying at different airbnb‘s in each place. we chose to book all of our stays through them first of all for ease and convenience and also because we have never had issues with them before and all of the places we booked had great reviews. we wanted to spend the majority of our time near the water, but we were intrigued by ubud and knew we need to taste that culture and see this unique city.

we landed in densapar¬†at the ngurah rai international airport in the mid-afternoon & took a cab down to south kuta¬†because we wanted to kick off the trip with some of the most amazing beaches we saw and read about online. we spent 4 nights in the area of ungasan at this villa.¬†this area is a bit remote, at least where we stayed which is considered centrally located, there were no places to walk to, i mean you technically could walk to somewhere to eat and the beach but it would probably take you 30 minutes. if you venture to this area of bali i would recommend you rent a scooter. before we went, we knew we would want to rent one, and we got kinda freaked out by all the rumors online that you need motorbike insurance and that the cops are out to get tourists on motorbikes, etc. but we had no problems renting one or getting pulled over. i attempted to drive one day and deferred back to dekel, it was more fun to hold on & squeeze him, looking out and pinching myself at where we were.¬†after frolicking around some of the most insane beaches i’ve ever seen with my eyes, we moved on to the second leg of our trip, which was in ubud. we originally booked this place but had an unexpected ant infestation so stayed there 1 night and moved down the street to this place that we booked in person for the rest of our stay – it was an awesome location and room. we made our stay in ubud the longest leg of our trip at 5 nights & even wished we had more time at the end. it was really¬†ubud that changed something inside of me. as cliche as it sounds, this place and it’s magic touched my soul and i felt like i discovered a deeper piece of myself coming back from there (more on this in an upcoming dedicated ubud post).¬†to wrap up our travels, we went back beachside and relaxed in bugie, but beautiful¬†seminyak for 3 nights at this entire private villa. we made no plans, had no itinerary besides posting up at potatohead beach club for a whole day and getting foot massages and reading our books.

stay tuned for in-depth posts and reviews of all 3 of the different locations, i would love to share some of my favorite photos and more helpful travel information ūüôā

tips for before your visit bali:

1. pack extra sunscreen 

we ran out because we only brought 1 bottle with us thinking we would just buy more but it’s sooo expensive it killed us that we didn’t just bring more from home. here (in dallas, tx) you can get an 8-ounce bottle for about $10 and it was triple that price in bali…and we checked multiple places like grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.

3. travel insurance 

we used this tool to compare, find and choose the best coverage for us. i tend to always get stomach sick when we travel (scroll a few photos down in this post to see me with an IV on¬†koh phi phi, i’m telling you it’s inevitable) and we like knowing we would be taken care of abroad without extra costs, if need be.

2. less is more 

this should be translated in every way, in terms of packing, wearing makeup, jewelry, stress, clothing (ha!). just bring less stuff than you think you will need. it’s a casual, laid-back island and seeing how the locals live is a reminder to take it easy and soak it all in. it’s also inevitable that you will soak up that sun, it’s so hot that jewelry just becomes unnecessary and your face just melts off. i really learned to embrace my inner¬†boheme and go-with-the-flow, embody my frizzy natural hair and my makeup-free face most days. if you think you will want a special dress or something for a planned photo shoot, bring it in a bag until you get to your location because you will sweat in it.

4. bring comfortable shoes 

you are going to be walk for miles so just come prepared to hit that ground in comfort. also, if you are going to be repelling, hiking, rafting, zip-lining or doing any other physical activities, just check ahead what shoes would be best to wear. we went white water rafting and both only had flip flops to take with us versus water shoes which would have been much better.

5. power bank

this is the exact one we have and used throughout the whole trip because you use your phone so much throughout the day and you don’t want to be dependant on an outlet. it can charge your phone x6 or your ipad x2.

i will be posting about the 3 different parts of our trip (south kuta, ubud, seminyak) separately so i can go into more colorful detail for each, so stay tuned. and if you have any questions about my trip in particular or would like any suggestions or advice in general about traveling internationally or bali, please reach out – i would love to hear from you! tomorrow I will be sharing 5 tips on creating a travel scrapbook from your next trip so check back for that, too.

*inkbox world tattoo that lasted about a week on the trip. makes me want it permanently*


the bluest of waters in south kuta


the greenest of rice fields around ubud

i love bali rice fields ubud bali indonesia

since dek & i both are so driven by travel, i keep an ever-growing bucket list as motivation in the office ūüôā we’re planning to check another one off this year by going to costa rica¬†at the end of february – can’t wait to share our plans with you guys!

world travel bucketlist


*see detailed south kuta post here

*ubud post here

*tips for travel scrapbooking here

thank you for reading!



i went with my girlfriends this weekend to nearby¬†cedar creek lake for an overnight getaway to celebrate #friendsgiving. with it only being an hour away, we caravaned it down¬†saturday¬†morning-ish, stopping at cedar creek brewery on the way for a beer and lunch and then on to¬†chels’¬†lakehouse….where we get together to take our makeup bras off, snack all night and make memories & inside jokes that we will bring up for years to come. we called this trip #GirlsTripPlusTy because some of my friends have kiddos and we were allll girls, plus tyler ūüôā¬† we each brought a dish for a homemade meal and the icing on the cake was literally the best cake i’ve ever had – it’s called yum yum cake and if you like pecans you would die! here is a similar recipe & there is a photo below, get ready to¬†drool.

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