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Pacific Coast Highway 10 day Itinerary

Happy Monday friends! I took an unintentional break from the blog on Friday after a hectic week at work, an event than ran a little later than I was anticipating on Thursday and getting sucked into 13 Reasons Why on Netflix - I decided it was okay to just be. I'm finishing up the #CaliforniaRoadTrip today with a broken down itinerary! After we got back from our trip, this was the most requested post I have ever been emailed about - so here we go! 
road trip, california trip planning, pacific coast highway, how to plan a road trip, what to see in california, what to do in california
When researching the Pacific Coast Highway and the trip up and down the coast, I was having a hard time figuring out how long to stay in each spot, what to see and do & which stops were worth an overnight stay (or longer). The more time I spent researching the more I found that people took 7 days or less to do the trip, which worked out for us because we tacked on 2 days on the tail end of our trip for San Francisco, getting us to a total of 10 days in California.
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The first thing to consider is whether you'll be doing the trip from North to South or South to North - based on ticket prices and wanting to relax in Napa before the end of our trip - we decided flying into Los Angeles and departing back for Boston from San Francisco made the most sense for us. Everything else is honestly up to your personal preference. For example, if you're an outdoorsy person then Big Sur is going to be a larger part of your trip because there are national forests to explore and hikes that you can take. For us, this wasn't a big draw, so we didn't plan an overnight around Big Sur - which is a good thing since the national park was closed due to weather. We also didn't add time into relaxing on the beach on the drive - there are a lot of beaches that you can pull off the road to enjoy, but it wasn't something we wanted to spend time exploring - we decided it was more important to us to actually sight see in the cities. 
I was surprised to find that there wasn't any major traffic back ups on Highway 1 - occasionally you would go a bit slower because you're taking in the scenery, but for the most part it's still a highway and you can have increased speeds. My biggest piece of advice - if you can, rent a convertible to drive the PCH. It's worth it! And with that - I am officially done recapping our California Road Trip. If you have any questions about any of the planning feel free to comment below or email me! 
Is the trip do-able in 7 or even 5 days, absolutely - but I do think you'll find yourself rushing through stops and even deciding against certain stops because you just don't have enough time. Even with 10 days, I felt like it wasn't enough time to explore so I would absolutely go back and explore some of our favorite cities like Santa Barbara and Carmel-by-the-Sea again. 

My Favorite Spring Outfit

I think it's safe to say that winter has finally ended in New England and left us with gorgeous spring weather to enjoy! I can't even tell you how amazing it feels to not need a big winter coat anymore. I've been wearing some version of this outfit for the last few weeks and when I was sent this Shop the Mint top , I couldn't wait to style it with my favorite white jeans! As I was scrolling through all the photos I couldn't help but get excited for the Fourth of July - you'll see what I mean in the post! 
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nautical outfit, what to wear in the spring, what to wear in summer, how to style white jeans, target block heels, shop the mint boutique, peplum top, how to style a peplum top, nautical inspired outfits, fourth of july outfit ideas
When I saw the top on their website I loved that it tied in the back to cinch the waist in, but when I tried it on I was even happier that it looked just as good tied in the front! 
nautical outfit, what to wear in the spring, what to wear in summer, how to style white jeans, target block heels, shop the mint boutique, peplum top, how to style a peplum top, nautical inspired outfits, fourth of july outfit ideas
nautical outfit, what to wear in the spring, what to wear in summer, how to style white jeans, target block heels, shop the mint boutique, peplum top, how to style a peplum top, nautical inspired outfits, fourth of july outfit ideas

nautical outfit, what to wear in the spring, what to wear in summer, how to style white jeans, target block heels, shop the mint boutique, peplum top, how to style a peplum top, nautical inspired outfits, fourth of july outfit ideas
nautical outfit, what to wear in the spring, what to wear in summer, how to style white jeans, target block heels, shop the mint boutique, peplum top, how to style a peplum top, nautical inspired outfits, fourth of july outfit ideas
Sleeveless Peplum Top (c/o) || White Jeans (Loft) || Suede Block Heels (Target) || 
Lipstick (Kim K.W.) || Sunglasses old (similar)  || Louis Vuitton (Purse)
nautical outfit, what to wear in the spring, what to wear in summer, how to style white jeans, target block heels, shop the mint boutique, peplum top, how to style a peplum top, nautical inspired outfits, fourth of july outfit ideas
I purchased these white jeans from Loft last year and at the time didn't really think I'd wear them all that often, but oh man was I wrong - I wear them every chance I get - which is basically every spring / summer weekend!! They fit true to size & don't show anything you don't want to show if you catch my drift. This was also the first time I got to wear my new Target Block Heels and while the heel is a tad higher than I normally like to wear, they are comfortable enough to enjoy a few hours of going out in. This outfit will be on repeat in some way shape or form through this season. I love how it has a bit of nautical flair to it & against the red back drop it got me pretty excited for Summer and the 4th of July. 

What's your go to spring outfit?

Recently Read

Happy Monday friends! I had an extra day off for the holiday weekend and we spent some time with Gary's family outside of the city! It's always nice to relax & unwind - with a good book mind you. Once I finished this latest read I thought it was time for another "recently read" post!  

Roundup | Spring and Summer Sandals

After taking stock of my closet, specifically my shoes, I've realized that I don't have that many pairs of spring / summer sandals to wear! I wanted to round up a few of the styles that I have my eye on and some that I've already purchased! Some of these are trendier shoes, so I don't want to spend as much because I'm still unsure if I'll like the style so I love that there are dupes for the higher end designer ones out there to test out first! 
rockstud shoes, valentino shoes, target heels, espadrilles, slip on shoes, mules


San Francisco Travel Guide

Today's the day - the final recap from our Pacific Coast Highway Adventure! At this point in the trip we were almost ready to go home! Our final stop was San Francisco! I've been to San Francisco 4 or 5 times and each time there is something new to discover, a new neighborhood to explore and of course a new restaurant to try out! Four years ago we stopped in San Francisco for a few days to break up the flight between Maui and Boston headed home from our honeymoon. It was nice to end the trip a couple of days before our anniversary & think about everything that's changed (and stayed the same) in those 4 years! 
What to do in san francisco, palace of fine arts, california road trip, PCH highway, travel guide


Napa Travel Diary

Happy Monday friends! I'm picking things right up with the Napa portion of our trip. After highlighting our stay at the White House Inn I wanted to share a few fun things to check out and do if you ever find yourself passing through or staying for a few days! We decided to drive north on the PCH for the mere fact that we really wanted to relax towards the end of our trip and spending a few days in Napa would do just that. This was our second time to Napa, but on our honeymoon we only did a day trip, so this was a true visit in my opinion! 
What to do in napa, wine country travel guide


Friday Favorites

It has been a long time since I've done a round up of some of my favorite things and I thought it would be nice to take a little break from vacation recaps! This week was all over the place - it felt short, but I felt like there was a lot going on to help it along! Jackie and I are doing a marathon workout class tomorrow - well sort of, it's two classes back to back followed by lunch at Sweet Green so I'm planning on eating a lot tonight 😂! I am excited for the final two travel guides that I have coming up, but in the mean time here are a few things that I've been loving lately! 


White House Inn Napa

One of the most daunting tasks planning this trip was figuring out where to stay at each stop. With Napa being our longest stop of the trip, I wanted to make sure our accommodations were central to where we would be doing tastings, have free parking & give us some of the amenities we'd be craving on the tail end of our trip. It didn't take long for me to find White House Inn at Napa or as I like to refer to it, a blogger's dream! I was so excited the entire trip to check in & the few days we spent at the hotel made our trip that much more enjoyable! 
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Favorite Looks from California

Here I was thinking that I was packing too much & wouldn't you know, definitely didn't pack enough. The weather in California was a bit of an anomaly - I mentioned that LA has microclimates and I found that to be true in pretty much every city that we stopped in. They were pretty dramatic climate changes too - 20 degree differences in some parts. This forced me to be super creative with some of my outfits. I wanted to share a few of my favorite looks from the trip & also let you know which pieces were the most versatile. 

5 Amazing Stops Along the Pacific Coast Highway

What to do on the PCH, stops to take on a road trip, california travel
Planning the PCH road trip was definitely fun, but daunting because there are so many little towns and scenic vista points that you can pull off at to take in the views. Before tackling the Napa & San Francisco travel guides I wanted to share my favorite stops we made along the highway.

Recently Read | Not to Miss Books

In an effort to not make every single post travel related I wanted to share a few recent reads. It's actually been a pretty slow month of reading for me, but I'm ending this post with one of my favorite reads of the year so far!! I'm wait listed for 9 books at the library and all of them are ones that I have been itching to read - so here's hoping people are quick readers because I need some new books!! I thought I would start this post with the one I was least excited reading & the other 4 were all great books. I also didn't keep track of how many books I read last year, but so far this year I'm up to 20 - hoping to read at least 75. Not really part of any challenges, but sort of doing it for myself. 
Books to read in 2017, reading guide, must read books

Santa Barbara Travel Guide | What to see, do & eat

After a couple days in Los Angeles we made our way to Santa Barbara. The city itself is called the American Riviera & for good reason - this little slice of heaven is like a piece of Europe in America. We were both so incredibly taken aback by the beauty of Santa Barbara & can't wait to make our way back because two days was just not enough!
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Where to Stay ||

Santa Barbara Hotel, Hotel Milo, Beachfront Hotel
After doing a little research I stumbled upon an article from Lauren Conrad highlighting Hotel Milo as a great hotel for a trip to Santa Barbara. Situated right across from the beach, you are greeted by a friendly staff - hello complimentary happy hour from 4-6 pm every day, continental breakfast every morning, free wi-fi throughout the property & in your rooms & even fun bikes to take out for a day of exploring. 

Santa Barbara Hotel, Hotel Milo, Bikes to Ride
For those of you that might remember - before leaving for California I didn't know how to ride a bike properly - I'm happy to report that I now know how to ride a bike & can't wait for warmer weather in Boston!! 
Santa Barbara Hotel, Hotel Milo, King Suite, Beachfront Hotel

L'Occitane bath products - my hair never felt as silky as it did using their shampoo! 
We paid a touch extra to have parking included in our room rate which for the location was incredibly affordable. The best way to describe the hotel is coastal chic - when you're on a California vacation there is nothing better! 
Travel Guide for Santa Barabra, What to do in Santa Barabra

What to Do ||

Santa Barbara Mission, Things to do in Santa Barbara
Aside from the beach, there are a few "must see" attractions in Santa Barbara - particularly the Old Mission & the courthouse that gives you views of the entire city - from the ocean to the mountains!
Things to do in Santa Barbara, Views from the Santa Barbara court house

Butterfly Beach & the waterfront are not to be missed. 

Where to Eat ||

Lobster Bisque, Enterprise Fish Co.

Scallop Risotto

Enterprise Fish Co
Hands down one of my favorite meals during our entire trip was at Enterprise Fish Co. We had the best, trust me I am not exaggerating since this is what they are known for, lobster bisque I have ever eaten. They have two locations - the Santa Barbara one is the original & it was easy to hop on Open Table to get a reservation. We talked about our dinner here the entire trip - it's must stop! The scallop risotto was also equally delicious. 

Santa Barbara Fish House
If you're looking for a staple in the city, I'd say SBFH is the place to go. They have a great patio area with really nice views of the beach & if you time it right - you can be there during sunset & there is nothing quite as romantic as a sunset dinner. 

Great Pacific Ice Cream Co. 
Ice cream tends to be pretty delicious anywhere, but on a pier hearing the waves & seeing the sand is where I enjoy it most! 

Final Thoughts ||
Butterfly beach

We absolutely loved Santa Barbara and can't wait to go back. There were things that we didn't have enough time to do like the walking wine trail and exploring the vineyards around the area, but that just means we have to go back sooner rather than later! I know this was a rather long travel guide & I hope you enjoyed it! Next up...stops to make along the Pacific Coast Highway! 

Back from Vacation & Favorites!

Happy Friday friends!! I can't tell you how good it feels to be back home from almost 2 weeks away. Admittedly, I was hoping to get at least one more blog post up while I was away, but at the request of my husband to just relax, I did just that and shared A LOT of our vacation via InstaStories! I have so many travel guides coming up in different varieties, but before getting into them I did want to share a few of my favorite things that happen when you come home from a long vacation!! 


Weekending | Vacation Mode

Happy Monday friends! We are still enjoying California for the next few days & I'll be back to blogging on Friday with a fresh post! Until then - wishing you all a wonderful week ahead & here's a snap from our hot air balloon adventure yesterday!! 
Hope everyone had a great weekend!! Comments have been disabled for this post! 

A Day in Los Angeles | Travel Diary

Happy Friday friends! I wanted to get ahead of all the travel posts as much as possible and before I forgot all the details, so today I'm starting with our 36 hours in Los Angeles. Our flight got us into Los Angeles right around 3 pm - once you factor in picking up the car, navigating through the city & getting dinner -you're pretty much pooped from the time difference. Especially when you had a great weekend on the east coast. We did have a quick dinner with a friend of mine who was also in town with her husband celebrating their anniversary which was such a nice treat, but more on that later! 
What to do in Los angeles, LA, one day in LA, where to eat in LA, Bardonna


Birthday Weekending in NYC

Happy Monday friends!! What a whirlwind weekend - from Midtown to the Lower East Side all the way to Brooklyn, this was the ultimate weekend! With the pictures doing much of the explaining, there's really no need for an introduction! Warning...picture overload ahead! 

Stay ||

Park Avenue Hotel, New York Hotel, Iberostar Hotel New York

Park Avenue Hotel, New York Hotel, Iberostar Hotel New York
When it was decided that we (my family including parents & sister / BIL) would be coming to New York for a wedding and my birthday I jumped on to Jetsetter to see what types of deals we could get for a great location & nice hotel. We lucked out with Iberostar on Park Avenue - seriously we paid such a great price - a quick walk to 5th Avenue & not too far from everywhere we would be going over the 36 hours in New York. I really appreciated all the full length mirrors in the room, which it seems like hotels never have & free WiFi - that coupled with a comfy bed and I was a happy camper! 

Birthday Celebrations ||

Lower East Side Restaurant, LES, Beauty and Essex, New York Restaurants,
Figuring out where to host a birthday dinner in NYC is no easy task - loads of restaurants to choose from, but I was looking for a place that had a private room, could easily host 20 people & gave you an experience to go along with the food. After doing a little research and asking some friends I kept hearing Beauty & Essex as the top choice. If you followed along on Insta Stories then you saw you enter the restaurant through a working pawn shop. 

The minute you walk into B&E you are transported - it's a mix between old hollywood glamour & over the top decadence. The private room in situated in the back of the restaurant on the first floor & although a tad bit loud with the music that's played in the other areas of the restaurant you do get a nice bit of privacy to enjoy the night. I was surrounded by my family and friends -  some that live in NYC & other's that just happened to be in town. 
I preselected the menu that was served family style & oh my word was it delicious. All I kept hearing from everyone was how incredible everything tasted. I'd go back for the tuna sashimi alone! 
private party menu at beauty and essex
I wasn't able to get any photos, but if the menu gives you any indication - there really is no other way to describe it other than delicious! Each course was better than the one before & even though we were all incredibly stuffed we couldn't stop eating! The restaurant was very accommodating with a couple allergies that we had which makes things that much more enjoyable. 
I have to say the biggest surprise was the size of the cake - when I selected the dessert I had no idea that the cake would be bigger than any cake I've had before and just as everything else - incredibly delicious. It was the most fun I have ever had for a birthday & without a doubt one I will remember forever! My cheeks hurt from laughing & smiling so much & the toasts that were given in my honor brought tears to my eyes! Oh & did I mention there is a champagne bar in the women's bathroom - that's right a full on lounge with a bartender serving champagne!! That's reason enough to go!

Wedding Celebration ||

The wedding we went to on Saturday gave us views of the Statue of Liberty, the most gorgeous ceremony followed by a stunning loft reception - with cherry blossoms and twinkle lights!! I was in wedding planner heaven! Jackie & I need to find a couple in Boston to recreate this for soon! 
I had a couple folks ask about the two dresses I wore this weekend & both were bought on a whim and pure luck! I found the blue Pamella Rolland dress in the Runway section of TJ Maxx & it's my new favorite piece in my closet! A touch long, but higher heels make everything work! The red dress was a random find at Nordstrom Rack - sometimes you just have to buy the dress because you never know when you'll need to wear it!! 
Sunday morning we packed our bags & made our way to California...vacation mode in full effect!! Literally the first stop we made after picking up our car was to In-N-Out burger. To me, it totally lived up to the hype!
This was without a doubt one of the best weekend ever - so much fun and I want to thank you all so much for your birthday wishes!! 

How was your weekend? Link up below to share!