A Look Back: 2017 Travels

2017 was full of adventures, and I loved every single one of them. My boyfriend and I took the biggest trip we’ve ever been on together at the start of the year when we headed to Thailand and Cambodia for 2 weeks. To say it was magical would be an understatement. Though our travels didn’t end there—we also managed to squeeze in a New Mexican getaway, plus a road trip through the South. Check out all of the beautiful places we visited—along with detailed travel itineraries—below!

Thailand and Cambodia // Los Angeles and Santa Barbara // New Mexico // Mendocino // New Orleans // Savannah // Charleston // New York

P.S. Check out where I went last year here.

1 Nightstand, 3 Ways

I’m constantly playing with unique ways to style my apartment (hence why I am constantly posting design refreshes), which is precisely why these little design challenges are so fun for me. Since I’ve already done my dining and coffee tables, next up was naturally my bedside table. Without further adieu, here are 3 different ways to style a nightstand.

Nightstand 1:  Fresh flowers? Check. Deliciously scented candles? Check and check. Simple bedtime reads? Check. I love how this variation has just about everything you need on your nightstand but doesn’t look cluttered at all.

Nightstand 2: I don’t know about you, but I hate sleeping in jewelry, no matter how dainty the ring. I love that this styling variation has a little tray for jewelry to go at night, plus the addition of a crystal to promote calming energy.

Nightstand 3: I suppose you could call this nightstand the perfect marriage between the first two—beautiful flowers, bedtime reads, and calming geodes.

Which nightstand option do you like best? Share in the comments below!

Travel Talk

Planning trips is one of my favorite activities and over the years, I’ve gotten into a pretty solid routine with it. There’s much, much more to it than just booking a flight and calling it a day, so I’m rounding up some tips I’ve picked up along the way.

The most important part of travel planning is giving yourself enough time to do just that: plan. Here’s how I like to think about the planning process:

1 year out. At around this time every year, I like to look ahead to the next year and start plotting where I want to go. As I do so, I take into account the best times of year to visit, as well as what else I have going on at that time. For me personally, I try to go on 2 big trips a year (one every 6 months), and then smaller ones peppered in between.

6 months out. Once I’ve decided where I want to visit in a year, I’ll then make calendar placeholders for myself to make sure I don’t start planning too late in the game. For instance, if I know I want to go to Italy in June, then I’ll set a reminder for myself to begin looking into it in January. Once January rolls around, I’ll start digging into the big ticket items: flights and hotels.

3 months out. At the three month mark, I try to start making an itinerary. I’ve shared specific tips for how to go about crafting an itinerary before, so definitely check out that post for more in-depth advice. In general though, I like to reach out to friends or family who have visited this place before, search blogs and forums for must-see sites, and compile all of this into an organized document. Also at this time, I’ll make restaurant reservations for the popular places that book up very far in advance.

1 month out. With my high level itinerary already mapped out, I’ll set aside some time at the one month mark to review it with a fine-tooth comb. I’ll restructure my itinerary such that it’s arranged by day and further sub-divided into times of day (morning, afternoon, and evening). I’ll also make any restaurant reservations I haven’t already, as well as book tours, museum tickets, and the like. Lastly, if I’m traveling internationally, I’ll also order the necessary currency at this time.

1 week out. The week leading up to the trip typically has the most to-do’s, so I try my best to divide them evenly over the seven days, as too not feel too overwhelmed. At the start of the week, I’ll do a big drug store haul and pick up any items I’ll need for the trip (ie: special medications, travel size bottles, magazines, etc.). In the middle of the week, I’ll focus on cleaning—tending to both my apartment, as well as my laundry. Once my clothes are clean and I’ve done a thorough audit of the weather in my destination, I’ll start packing. Finally, the day before a trip, I like to get my nails and toes done, as well as tend to my house chores.

 

Insta Inspo

Instagram has always been my #1 and I basically get giddy every time they roll out a new feature. Maybe it’s because social media marketing is my career, but I just love watching how Instagram evolves their platform and design.

Naturally, when Instagram rolled out their new collections feature, I couldn’t wait to learn more about it and how it would enrich my usage. In a short amount of time, this new addition has quickly become one of my favorite features of the social network—read on to find out why.

There was a period of time in which Pinterest was my most-frequented web destination. I found endless inspiration from the site and took great pride in curating my boards. While I still do turn to Pinterest for inspiration, particularly as it pertains to interior design, I’ve found Instagram’s collections feature to fill a lot of the same needs that Pinterest once did. I’m constantly stumbling upon beautiful photos as I scroll through my Instagram feed and at one point, I even had an album on my camera roll for all of my Instagram screenshots.

Now, however, there’s no need to screenshot because I can simply save beautiful images right within Instagram. After a few weeks of saving photos, I started to notice patterns amidst the content, and that’s how I landed on the following collection boards:

  • Recipes
  • Interiors
  • San Francisco
  • Outfits
  • LA
  • Weekends
  • Tropical Vacations

I absolutely love that when I’m at the market, I can quickly open my Instagram app and navigate straight to my “recipes” board for some ideas. Similarly, when I’m staring at the contents of my closet and not seeing anything I like, I can open the “outfits” board for some much-needed inspiration.

Have you been using the collections feature? Let me know how you’re liking it below!

These Days

Quick work trip to New Orleans, making it my 3rd time in that amazing city.

Have you ever seen anything prettier than the restaurant at the New Orleans Ace Hotel?

Savoring these neighborhood blooms before they’re gone in a few weeks.

Treating ourselves to a nice brunch with a view at Cavallo Point.

At one of my favorite shops in downtown Oakland, Marion + Rose.