THE GREAT DEBATE // Hotel or Airbnb?

Airbnb Tulum 1

When planning a new trip, one of the chief decisions you’ll likely need to make is where to call home throughout your travels (unless you’re some kind of sleep/shower-defying rebel ninja).  In my early adventure days, I was ’bout that hostel lyfe as much as the next guy.  But since the rise of Airbnb and other vacation rental sites, it’s now easier and more affordable than ever to dream a bit bigger.  Now each time I travel, there’s the internal debate between staying in a hotel or renting a private home.  And while hotels are generally considered the more “convenient” alternative, I’ve found that rentals usually provide a lot more bang for your buck.

Setting aside any political leanings (because I don’t have any), I’m a big proponent of Airbnb and other vacation rental sites.  I’ve rented digs in domestic cities like New York, Austin, and Portland, as well in reaches as far as Croatia, France, and even Cambodia.  I’ve often found that for the same rate (or less) of the average hotel room, you’re afforded way more in terms of space, privacy, and amenities.  Take, for example, our stupid amazing lodgings from Tulum this past spring.  For less than a room in a nearby hotel, we had our own 2 br/2b HOUSE.  Sure, we had to drive to the beach, but whatever, we had our own POOL!

If money were no object, maybe I’d opt for hotels more often.  After all, when you’ve travelled hundreds or thousands of miles from home and are feeling jetlagged, sticky, and hungry, it’s pretttttty gratifying to wrap yourself up in a fluffy white bathrobe and order room service.  And without that handy concierge and housekeeping, you’ll have to fend for yourself in terms of getting around, doing laundry, finding food, making the bed…you get the drift.  However, there’s something about the more local experience of rentals that really can’t be paralleled.  I love the feeling of a “home” away from home that I don’t share with hundreds of strangers.  I like having a kitchen – or at least the OPTION of a kitchen (I might not cook but the full-size fridge sure is handy for beer).  If your host is super legit, you’ll often get the guidance and amenities that you’d find in a hotel (neighborhood tips, snacks, in some cases a MOTORBIKE – true story) thrown in fo’ FREE.  And above all, I relish in the challenge that comes with navigating new territory; the validation that comes from just getting somewhere and figuring it out.  Sure, I’ve gotten lost…a lot…but aren’t the best gems always off the beaten path?

What kind of traveller are you: A posh hotel dweller?  Or an Airbnb adventurer?

Airbnb Tulum 5Airbnb Tulum 3Airbnb Tulum VignetteAirbnb Tulum 10Airbnb Tulum 9Airbnb Tulum 4

Mesh swimsuit by Topshop. Lace top by Lovers + Friends. Vintage Levis shorts.  Black dress by Reformation.


The Vacation Mode OOTD 4:22 eC-c-c-color?  It must be spring.  My wardrobe consists of about 98% neutrals – of which I’ll usually have the same 10 items on rotation until exhaustion.  I just know which pieces feel best, and I reach for them every time.  But every once in a while, it’s ok(/essential) to mix it up.  Party tiiiiiime.

Lovers + Friends romper.  Karen Walker shades.  ASOS slides.

The Vacation Mode OOTD 4:22 dThe Vacation Mode OOTD 4:22 aThe Vacation Mode OOTD 4:22 cThe Vacation Mode OOTD 4:22 fThe Vacation Mode OOTD 4:22 b

BOOK REVIEW // The Selection

FullSizeRenderIf you happen to follow me on Instagram, you might know that I’ve been in Mexico for the past week (conjuring up MUCHO new content to post soon).  Since I’ve been on real vacation (not just vacation MODE, haaaa) – what better time to indulge in some guilty pleasures?  Which brings me to The Selection.

I think I spotted this book for the first time in a bookstore about a year ago and the whimsical nerd in me was immediately drawn to the princess-y, YA-screaming cover.  You may have heard that we’re not supposed to judge books by their covers, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing if the thing you are judging is pretty and frilly and intrigues you to no end.  It’s been on my TBR list ever since and in honor of my vacay, I thought I’d give myself a little break from life (and from Dragonfly in Amber) and see what all the fuss was about.

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Cookie Monster Coat

I picked this baby up at Jetrag’s dollar sale during the height of summer, so sadly it was delegated to wallowing in my closet for months.  We recently became reacquainted with each other during one of my seasonal purges, and since then have become fairly inseparable.  I just love the cozy fuzz and billowy sleeves and the fact that I can throw it over my jeans and t-shirt uniform and feel an instant upgrade.  That, plus the fact that it’s impossible to put on without a horrible attempt at a Cookie Monster impression…every time.  So, pretty much the best dollar I’ve ever spent.

Vintage coat & tee.  Mother denim. Ray-ban shades. Converse sneaks.


(Palm) Spring Break


There’s nothing like a Palm Springs roadtrip to cure the winter blues…especially when LA temperatures drop dangerously low (mid SIXTIES in some places…the humanity).

PS is an uber popular getaway destination for many SoCal residents, hailed for its convenience (a breezy 2-hour drive from LA), weather (except during summer, when you’d be better off hitting the sauna), and generally chill vibes (ie retirement community neighbors and copious gay bars).  I’ve been doing this roadtrip for years under the guise of various occasions – bachelorettes, rehab Coachella, romantic weekends, weddings, birthdays, etc – and can enthusiastically assure it has tons to offer, whatever your fancy.

To accompany this lonley-ish blue photo story I’ve compiled a few of my favorite spots in PS and the surrounding areas, gleaned from my pilgrimages over the years.  Upon review I’m realizing that most of my best memories revolve around snacks and/or booze.  Take that as you will and enjoy!

Sparrows. The most amazing little boutique hotel paradise.  The fabulous staff will bring you unsolicited ice cream in the hot tub.  IN THE HOT TUB!  Just like at home.

Cheeky’s.  The line on weekends can suck but their delicious bloodies and cheesy biscuits are worth the wait.

Bootlegger Tiki.  Glorious in all the ways a kitschy, divey, pineappley PS establishment should be.

Integratron.  Get yo existential buzz on (and meditate through your Tiki-induced nausea) during one of their legendary Sound Baths.

Pappy & Harriet’s. Get a real buzz after your Integratron trip.  Great live music every night and killer nachos.  Also, the scenic 2-mile stretch into Pioneertown feels like an awesome drive into the past.

Cabazon Dinosaurs.  Situated right off the freeway, it’s an obvious must-stop for the requisite hungover touristy photo op on the way home.

Hadley’s. Pop in after your dinosaur photoshoot to stock up on essential snacks for the drive.  By the end of a Palm Springs trip, I generally prefer a date shake enjoyed in the air-conditioned comfort of the car over marathon Cabazon outlet shopping.  Any. Day.

Top from Cotton On.  Shorts by Lovers & Friends.  Balenciaga gladiators.


Not Juno.


A few more snaps from the recent NYC trip…apparently it was kind of chilly there last week or something so here’s a little flashback to a charming, less apocalyptic day in Central Park and beyond.  Pulled a major tourist card by renting Citi Bikes to harass squirrels enjoy all the gorgeous fall colors.  Also, anyone else ever experienced the Moroccan eggs at Five Leaves?  Good God.

$5 men’s flannel from Outdoor World.  Sweater by Free People.  Levi’s denim.  Givenchy handbag.



Spent an afternoon making myself quite comfortable in the only part of New York where I really feel at home.  LOVE New York, I’m just too agoraphobic/lazy to keep up.  And yes, there are people who will wear a tshirt whenever possible…regardless of social situation or climate…even if it’s Brooklyn on the brink of winter.  Yep, whenever possible.

Anyways, Williamsburg has some gorgeous vistas – I could easily spend hours/days taking in the lovely parks, skyline, & street art (and bagels, so many bagels).

Tee Alternative Apparel. Scarf Lacroix Vintage. Jacket H&M. Sunnies Karen Walker.





I was lucky to be able to visit Boston during some of the last warm-ish days of the year, before winter rolled through on its annual pilgrimage (see what I did there?) and harshed everyone’s vibe.  Weather permitting, Bean Town is an invigorating and incredibly pedestrian-friendly town, replete with American food and beer history and culture.  It’s the perfect place to aimlessly wander cobblestone streets and take in the remarkable juxtaposition of old vs. new – evident in its jaw-dropping architecture, street art, gardens…and food/beer.



Oh hi, Ojai

It was recently my birthday and my favorite thing to do to celebrate each passing year (beyond binge eating and drinking with friends – which also happened obviously) is get the F outta dodge.  LA is truly an amazing place to live, but among the many advantages of living here is the ease with which one can LEAVE every once in a while when the traffic, kale, and profusion of actor/barista/dog runners eating kale in traffic gets to be too much.  JK, I love kale.

Enter the simplistic beauty of the day trip.  There isn’t always enough time (or money) in our lives for a big elaborate journey; but even an afternoon getaway can help recharge the mind and refresh the spirit.  (And in my case, prolong the inevitability of the annual birthday sob session.  Does anyone else always cry on their birthday, even when you’re happy? Just me?)

ANYWAYS.  Ojai is a cozy and beautiful little agricultural town just east of Ventura and a convenient, playlist-friendly drive from LA – under two hours without traffic (which miraculously we didn’t hit at all).  It’s been on my wishlist forever; and this year I was lucky enough to be squired here by my love for a nature-viewing, smoothie-drinking, vintage-shopping, house-crushing, mountain-gazing, wine-tasting, wine-buzzed-wandering, pizza-eating day of perfection.  I loved everything this locale had to offer but I’d say the highlight was Bart’s Books: a reader’s wet dream that combines two of my favorite things – old books and the outdoors – for a magical wonderland that I could spend from now to my next birthday exploring.

Dress by Reformation. Bag by Givenchy.  Slides by ASOS.