hard earned thrift shopping tips

Thrift shopping has been a constant in my life lately and though I've grown up making trips to the thrift store I've learned LOADS in the past year how to get the treasures.

impromptu thrifting trip with my family In Royal Oak. My dad in the bottom right suffering in silence

impromptu thrifting trip with my family In Royal Oak. My dad in the bottom right suffering in silence

The hardest part is pushing through mountains of junk to get to the gems. It's a ton of chaos but don't think about that. I've gotten some existential angst about how much clothing and waste there is in the world, heavy issues. Keep it light though and think of how there are items waiting for you to discover. Also bonus points - you're recycling.

what you aspire to find

what you aspire to find

I always find the less I am looking and more just taking a peek is when the major finds come through. I've found my coolest jackets thrift store shopping. One all-star find was a $8 faux Zara fur jacket I always get compliments on from a day I went looking for second-hand home goods.

Another was a red jacket I picked up in a pile of clothes at a Bali market for $7. I'll dig to the bottom to get that shit, usually riding a bender from an XL iced coffee.

Jetrag in LA - this one's a little grundgy but everything's $1 and it's a fun scene

Jetrag in LA - this one's a little grundgy but everything's $1 and it's a fun scene

I also have an addiction selling items on Poshmark that I find on my hauls and have learned how to reduce buying items that sit in my closet for months. It's a process, sometimes you get hyped up on items you think are cool only to find others don't care orr understand.

To get you started and save you the headache, here's my first 5 tips for getting the good stuff:

1. Don't discriminate - try every style of sale

I'll search far and wide for a good deal, I'll do it for 10 minutes after a workout or I'll carve out 2 hours to do a full hunt. Questionable looking garage sales, Goodwill (almost once a week), $1 pile of junk sales, and flea markets.


I find when you see a sale at the side of the road that looks intriguing and you think ahh I don't have time... why not stop in for 5 minutes? You can take a quick lap and more often than not, I find something and I'm high on it the rest of the day. Boom: natural endorphins.

Even messy looking garage sales are great because they're put together by people who want to get rid of stuff now. I've gotten dollar items and there's usually not too much to sift through making them great morning activities.

2. Have no expectations, keep an open mind.

Don't hunt, don't feel like you NEED anything. Mindset is key. Having fun and taking your time letting the gem come to you is my motto. Get playful and you'll discover you may one day be into the same style of tie dye you were into in grade school. 

Vintage Shopping in Chicago in 2013 during the Mackelmore era

Vintage Shopping in Chicago in 2013 during the Mackelmore era

Or if you're looking for an outfit to wear for a party, why not stop into a few sales before for items no one else will have? You can jump out of your comfort zone with a few experimental $5 pieces.

3. Focus on a specific color scheme

If you focus only on a couple colors at once it helps you become less overwhelmed and it's easy to cruise through different sections quickly. I skip reds, blues, and often black in order to focus on greens and whites. But it depends on the day and mood. Go with what your intuition tells you! 


Not looking at certain colors or groups of items saves you mental energy and at least 50% of your time. I used to feel info overload after an hour in a thrift store but now I cruise out of them in about 30min.

4. Dig! 

You find the good stuff if you're willing to work for it. It sounds simple but so many gems get lost in the dressing rooms or racks abandoned across the store.


It's also about stamina, truly. I live and die by an iced venti coffee and rock n roll music. I'm in my own world when I'm thrifting and I jam out.

You can lose momentum quick if you look at too much. Best to focus on a couple of areas and give them your full attention like t-shirts and jeans one day, dresses and jackets another. But still if you want to go crazy and bounce around like me follow your instinct. Play into what gives you energy.

5. Only pick items you love

Sometimes you find a bunch of cool pieces and you're high on the rush from the process you buy 10 items and later find a few of them fit weird or don't go with anything you own.

an clear almost - would have been a funny sweater for Halloween time. Did not purchase.

an clear almost - would have been a funny sweater for Halloween time. Did not purchase.

Always let go of a few almosts at the end of your haul - at least 3, and often half if you really want to feel great. I find this especially helpful if you resell items online because I've found it's hard to sell my least favorite pieces. Focus on getting a few HELL YEAH pieces and let the other ones be.

enjoy and let me know what you think xx

naturale instincts

give me anything natural toned

beige, honey, tan

taupe, caramel, cocoa

wood, rattan, leather, straw

I come ALIVE when I see a natural toned piece

I've sworn off navy and I've never liked black that much anyway so natural colors are the base of my wardrobe. I've been selling anything that doesn't jazz with that in my Poshmark.

I highly recommend trading out navy or black pieces for warm tones. it's heaven. 

anyway, some of my favorite pieces:

what I'm wearing <3 the color, pattern, and killer FIT of this dress

UO Lola Button-Down Mini Dress / Urban Outfitters / $59

been really into pants lately and these are ass-kickers

Cobain Pants / I.AM.GIA / $89

caramel babe jacket

UO Oversized Cropped Denim Trucker Jacket / Urban Outfitters / $79

are you even living if you don't have an oversized fur coat?

UO Charlie Long Faux Fur Coat  / Urban Outfitters / $129

also a great option, more office appropriate

Soft-feel double-breasted coat/ Zara / $89

instantly buying, this is a treasure

Plisse Pleated Shopper Tote Bag  / Urban Outfitters / $10

we've reached a new level of fur accessories !!

Timber Faux Sherpa Ankle Boot  / Urban Outfitters / $60

I love this dress I have it in red and wear it all the time

Beige Girl Gang Mini Dress / Princess Polly / $24

I love this low key feisty look

Beige Wonderwoman Sunglasses  / Princess Polly / $48

HOT DAMN. and on super sale !!

Anastasia Lace Up Top / Princess Polly / $16

my Frye babies in the photo, selling on Poshmark but reallyyy don't want to

Frye Tan Cowboy Western Booties / Shades of Jade Poshmark / $100

gorgeous like the Cult Gaia bag but more affordable

Mini Mother-of-Pearl-Effect Tote Bag / Zara / $59

perfect backpack size that looks like it fits a laptop

Contemporary Vegan Leather Backpack / Poshmark / $60

a neutral tomboy pant

Genevieve Pants / Princess Polly / $40

I've been wanting to pull off the corset belt and this one looks perfectly Marie Antoinette

Leather Corset Belt  / Urban Outfitters / $20

the perfect neutral "had them forever" combat boot

Therapy Burnished Tan Axel Boots  / Princess Polly / $36

the search for design nirvana

2018 - I love how the New Year is a catalyst for change. 

It's beyond resolutions, it's digging deeper into what you've wanted to bring into ie manifest in your life.

For me, it's making more of the dreams a reality. My mind has a million crazy ideas running through it, screenshots in my phone, items pinned on Pinterest boards over the past 5 years. 

They've been guideposts for me of what I'm feeling and where I want to go.

But bringing those ideas to light is much harder than a quick shopping trip. 

I love the idea of uncovering new dimensions of your self, parts of you that are ready to see the light.

Things you gravitated to that you want to double down on. 

It takes courage to make certain bets in your life, it costs money, it costs the time of tirelessly searching for the right earring or vase for your home.

There's a hunt to find nirvana and a lot of saying no to items that don't fit the vision.

But daring yourself to and holding for the “i can’t live without it” feeling is magic.

This feels heavy for a lead into my home shopping picks, but this crop is not about consumerism, but creating your own reality.

To create the life you want you have to shed what's not you and fill your world with what is.

I recently moved and have turned a corner into making sure everything chosen in my space is loved and in it's right place. It has been the most beautiful feeling that has made me feel more at home than I ever have.

It's a Marie Kondo type of feeling, and I wouldn't call it minimalism. I want my space to be FULL, intentional, a crazy fantasy.

So I'm sharing what I came across in my journey and hope you find something too:

I've been looking for an oversized wood mirror and this is screaming at me

Ashton Mango Wood Mirror / Urban Outfitters / $199

available in pink and green - thinking of using as an office desk chair

Rosa Velvet Dining Chair / Urban Outfitters / $99


circles are my obsession so that paired with seagrass is bohemian heaven. good reviews as well, fits 3 blankets

Alina Storage Ottoman / Urban Outfitters / $129

the circle mirror is the perfect statement piece and people are raving over this one

Umbra Oversized Hub Mirror / Urban Outfitters / $140

hung up on the idea of having a comfy floor cushion for having people over, and this would fit perfectly under a window when paired with the daybed

Rohini Velvet Daybed Cushion / Urban Outfitters / $149

same concept but THIS PATTERN

Dottie Daisy Daybed Cushion / Urban Outfitters / $159

I feel calmer just looking at this gem - perfect for bathroom storage or as an airy bookshelf

Bamboo Tiered Shelf / Urban Outfitters / $89

I'm fired up by this style of mirror and need it. immediately.

Amabella Arch Mirror / Urban Outfitters / $119

this chair is a work of art

Haylee Mono Rattan Chair / Urban Outfitters / $119

rich looking design that goes with almost every aesthetic

Nora Cantilever Chair / Urban Outfitters / $169

a good neutral paired with earthy fringe look

Modern Berber Rug / Urban Outfitters / $39+

can I picture myself dancing on this? hell yes.

Flo Marks Printed Rug / Urban Outfitters / $39+

rust is having a moment so go with it in this southwestern pattern

Lazro Printed Rug / Urban Outfitters / $19+

soft & romantic, I love this room divider idea

Knotted Window Curtain / Urban Outfitters / $44

I LIVE for this photo, Chinese lanterns are a must in my household

Emma Blackout Fringe Window Curtain / Urban Outfitters / $59

the dreamiest, I would pull the trigger but my bedroom window doesn't flow with this

Joni Net Window Curtain / Urban Outfitters / $59

I have a small hallway into my bedroom so this is going there for drama

Bamboo Beaded Curtain / Urban Outfitters / $39

comes in 7 colors and they are all glorious, rich colors

Crushed Velvet Window Curtain / Urban Outfitters / $49

angelic and parisian feeling

Draped Shade Curtain / Urban Outfitters / $29

rainbow are like, so in right now.

Rainbow Mirror / Urban Outfitters / $49

I love my duvet cover but if you're looking for a colorful one this is so unique

Nylon Satin Quilt / Urban Outfitters / $139

the splurge

Jewels of the Moment

Right now I have so much love for my go-to jewelry pieces and they're all made by



I'm very PRO supporting small artisans or local designers because they have better quality and more unique pieces. I also love supporting one passionate person vs. a corporation of ??? people who generally rip off designers' ideas. I try to buy directly from their website or Etsy to give them love.

so support THE REAL DEAL not the RIPOFF xxx

Right now I'm digging:


my fave teardrop shaped necklace from one of my favorite Youtubers The Current Custom - I've been following her since HS it's been so long. Love her gems!

Beer Quartz on Gold Link Chain Necklace / The Current Custom / $148

I wear my Figaro chain layering necklace from my favorite local Manhattan / Hermosa beach designer Deb Brewer! I never take it off, but since I'm not seeing it on her website the top chain is a similar one I also own <3 

Kim K Chain / DebBrewerJewelry / $48

My Hollow Hoops from Argento Vivo! I bought on Black Friday directly on the website to support them, but you can also find them in Nordstrom if you want to try on the pieces in person / get rewards. 

Hollow Hoops / Argento Vivo / $45 ($30 with 30% off code HOLIDAY2017)

I got mine from Bali and found a similar one on Etsy & this anklet is pretty much glued to me since I work by the beach. Also perfect for vacations / free spirits this is just the viiibe 

Shell Anklet / Etsy via Hemp Beadery / $12

had these for forever and they're pretty timeless plus are perfect for the holiday party circuit. I love them in tan, gold, and green and they make a great present! 

Astrid Knotted Tassel Earring in Gold / Vanessa Mooney / $45

Style Crop: Black Friday Picks

I tried going into a couple stores this year and realized it's over for me going in person. I'm all about those online deals, especially at premium smaller labels where they rarely discount. Why bother with cheapie items when you can get serious investments hugely discounted?  I'm firing off on getting only items I truly need or I'm dreaming over.


Reformation for dresses and luxe tops // 30% off

Missguided for party & holiday outfits // 50% off

Argento Vivo for cool hoops and unique chokers // 30% off

Frasier Sterling for layering chokers and the iconic party top // 50% off

Princess Polly for sassy wear // $20 off etc

Nordstrom for new Nike or Adidas sneakers // 20% off select items

Aerie for $10 leggings [[randommm]] // 40% off

I started out losing my mind at Reformation's sale, then found my perfect hoop earrings, and went all out for finding the right khaki sneaker so I'll share what's been catching my eye:. 

Saw it, lost my mind. then saw it was selling out and WENT FOR IT

Charlee Pant / Reformation / $125

this ruching very euro, love this but not buying because I rarely wear jeans 

Laurent Top / Reformation / $90


Dottie Top / Reformation / $69

now I'll get the Fez because I gotta see this color and velvet on <3

Fez Top / Reformation / $90

had to have them for looks

Hollow Hoop / Argento Vivo / $30 (was $45)

PERFECT FOR LAYERING not getting because I don't neeeed but been eyeing this

Gothic Choker / Argento Vivo / $34 (was $48)

I'm curious about this dress because I love the brown & casual-ness of it all

Stowe Dress / Reformation / $69

but more curious about this because it's green and that turtleneck could be a look

Roberts Dress / Reformation / $55

[[ hello it's me ]] from the 70's

Wilder Dress / Reformation / $153

always love a good combat vibe

Lennon Skirt / Reformation / $90


clearly can't get enough of this color. would be GORG with flares

Somedays Loving Crystal Skies Bodysuit / Princess Polly / $61

bang bang

I.AM.GIA IZAR TANK TOP / Princess Polly / $34

the hot hot tie in the front top mixed with florals

Motel Floral Rose Vaco Blouse / Princess Polly / $34


gorgeous top for pairing with necklace combos



the perfect layering choker I need for my collection 

Valley Choker / Frasier Sterling / $16 (was $31)

have been dying to try this style of top and love orange


here's my one cheapie item because I'd rather buy dresses than $80 leggings

Chill legging / Aerie / $10 (bought 5)


love the tan with the white and gold, a stunner

B.O.G. Limitless High Top Training Shoe / Nordstrom / $72 (was $120)

fabulous green

EQT Racing ADV Sneaker  / Nordstrom / $77 (was $109)

another tan sneaker candidate

Flashback Winter Speaker / Nordstrom / $99


Style Crop: 2017 Holiday Party Outfits to Die For

PARTY SEASON is coming and I highly, highly recommend you get on shopping NOW so there's no stress running in and out of stores to find the right outfits. If I wait until mid-December running through the mall I have to settle so FYI the GOOD STUFF is online.

I'm seriously impressed, there are SO MANY show-stopping pieces that are worth a little splurging.

That's why it's crucial to start ordering online now and have dresses, wild accessories, and matching shoes at the ready. Some items I was looking at were already sold out or on backorder (!!)

I went pretty crazy with this post so to get the full viiibe listen to a Spice Girls throwback when reading through.


oooh la la the color and the ruching... I die. Reformation is pricier but ethical & sustainable.

Jasper Top / Reformation / $98

love the simple baller-ness of this choker - also comes in silver

Gold Mesh Choker Necklace / Etsy SHOPEVREN / $26

OBSESSED. v Cher from Clueless - selling out in multiple sizes!! skirt & top avail 

Marisole Dress / NBD / $138

red hot boots will get major attention

Public Desire Andorra Zip Front Sock Boots / ASOS / $56




show some leg and pair with a run whimsical bag - comes in blush & light bronze

Anoush Dress / Reformation / $218

a fur stole is my #1 accessory this season to jazz up every outfit - go vintage or this oversized one

Faux Fur Stole / Zara / $89

or in pink, this shade is divinee

Faux Fur Stole / Zara / $36

can't get enough of the idea of this dress over a cool colored slip. BANGIN

Selena Dress / I. AM. GIA / $80

love this alternative to the lace up pants and can become a going out staple

Luna Lace Up Mini Skirt / by the way. / $58

these boots are so fire, but  balance them with a more modest dress long sleeve

Hidden Talent Over-the-Knee Boot / Nasty Gal / $45 (on sale from $90)


this hunt has me now obsessed with fun party pants to pair with fitted bodysuits 

X REVOLVE Daphne Joggers / Tularosa / $148

simple sexy in the front, drop dead gorgeous on the back xoxo

Twiin Backless Suspense Dress / Princess Polly / $91


this with hoops & Stuart Weismann boots ... it's done.

Sparkle Knit Metallic Dress / For Love & Lemons / $145

stone cold fox status in these babies! I love love a sheer pant if you're bold

Pant 592 / LPA / $148

I'll never get over the Balengiaga knife boots so these might be miine

Step by Step Sock Boot / Nasty Gal / $35 (on sale from $70)

so damn adorable with the bow, definitely a more modest showing here

Valentine Dress / Reformation / $218


the bodysuit version of this was backordered until Jan - so get in this if you <3 it!

Bora Bora Top / Majorelle / $118

I love the simplicity and rich color of this, yet the bow adds an extra sweetness to it

X REVOLVE Abella Dress / NBD / $158

for formal events, yes I have a fetish for velvet and this is a DREAM

ASOS Cold Shoulder Velvet Animal Devore Maxi Dress / ASOS / $87

I've been eyeing red Chinese print dresses and the hot new I.AM.GIA line for ages! ADORE and ignore the shirt under it... sexy heels and fur please.

I.AM.GIA Red Kiko Dress / Princess Polly / $75

GIA again!! wrap a bow on this shit

I.AM.GIA Halliwell Dress / Princess Polly / $58


Larson Dress / Reformation / $178

Style Crop: The Chunky Sweater

If there's one piece you need every Fall to feel like you have your life together, it's a CHUNKY oversized sweater. I love thick ones that have chic texture details - super soft chenille, distressed fringe, popcorn balls, mesh ... I want them all.

The one I can't live without is my pumpkin orange colored one I thrifted at Goodwill (jackpot as always). It makes me instantly feel luxe when paired with my knee high tan boots. 

That's the feeling we're going for here.

And my main tip is GO BOLD AND COMFY. You'll LIVE in them at home, brunch, outside wandering, wherever. They're worth every penny.

I loved picking these babies - enjoy!

my orange sweater lookalike but a bit more flashy - also highly rated!!

Piers & Palms Pullover / $78 / Free People

my favorite fabric, color & flared sleeve 

Knit Guilty Chenille Sweater / $60 ($30 sale) / Nasty Gal

i'll take all the mesh sweaters thank youu

Cropped Mesh Sweater / $26 / Zara

hey mama where you been all my life (2 left!!)

Frayed Hem Rib Knit Cardigan in Mustard / $52 ($39 sale) / Chicwish

loved the look of this one last year and this color is bangin

Oversized Chenille Sweater / $40 / Zara


Sweater with Shoulder Embroidery / $40 / Zara

all about this, v Edie Sedgwick 

Striped Sweater / $62 / Subdued


Go for Knit Ribbed Sweater / $25 ($13 Sale) / Nasty Gal

thug sweater life  

Sweater with Contrasting Fabric Cuffs / $70 / Zara

this pattern is seriously magical and worth the splurge

Confetti Pullover / $168 / Free People

if you're looking for a sexy back moment here it is

Nifty Twist Sweater in Light Tan / $35 / Chicwish

looks so damn comfy & people are raving about this sweater in the reviews

Found My Friend Sweatshirt / $78 / Free People

saw this on a FB ad and was struck by the drama of the details on this

Knit Your Love Cardigan / $70 ($50 sale) / Chicwish

obviously in green too (also in pink)

because crochet is life

Oversized Crochet Sweater / $50 / Zara

Style Crop: Plain White Ts

Finding the perfect plain white T doesn't come easy. You could search 10 stores and come out empty handed. So when my friend Quinn asked for recommendations, I went back on the hunt. In the past I've scored at Urban and Zara so I started there, but the hunt lasted over 3 hours 🙂🙃

The perfect white T should be classic, worn-in, and flattering on the female figure. Think a chic French woman reading the morning news at a cafe or the fit of an old man's wifebeater tank. It should have the right details so when you throw one on you have an effortless look, and you can layer them interchangeably under dresses or with overalls (personal favorite).

I have a few guidelines:

- Look for spandex in the fabric, 2-5%. NOOO 100% cotton, it doesn't hold its shape.

- Fitted enough to graze curves, no boyfriend fits as the baggy effect isn't universally flattering. You can rock that style with some looks but it won't be the go-to (esp if you have boobs).

- Pick a slightly sheer fabric for max effortlessness

Here are my 13 faves (includes tanks too): 

The best all around comfy cool T I found, similar to my all time favorite Zara one (currently unavailable) 

New Look Rolled Jersey T / ASOS / $16

the runner up, I like how thin this looks and the fact it's 5% spandex (holds shape)

Winona Cropped T / Need Supply Co. / $12

for a slightly gnarly look -- Nordstrom customers reviewed a 4.7 (note: buy a size smaller)

Distressed Edge Tee / Nordstrom / $20

has an easygoing fit and short sleeves, but 100% cotton so not my #1

Jamie Top / Brady Melville / $16


for layering with bras or edgier pieces, also with TRACKSUITS 

Delphine Sheer Top / Revolve / $58

love the side gap it's giving me a Kate Moss vibe

Sand Dollar Tank / Free People / $20

one of my most worn pieces ever as it's a raw edge and has a cheekiness to it

Urban Renewal Remade Ribbed Tank Top / Urban Outfitters/ $19

destined to be paired with a flirty skirt or high waisted jeans

Ally Tank / Brandy Melville / $19

same thing ... so you have choices

Charlene Top / Brandy Melville / $26

loving the ribbed fabric & feminine fit

Out From Under Billie Shrunken Tee / Urban Outfitters / $20

the frisky ruffled edge top is perfect to layer under sweaters or jumpsuits

Gwen T / Need Supply Co. / $32

if you want a dose of attitude this is one of the best sayings tees out there

 embroidered au revior retro tee / madewell / $42

not exactly a plain white T but while we're here soak this one in

Out From Under Alexa Ruched Long Sleeve Top / Urban Outfitters / $29

Can't live without // September wardrobe favorites

I thought it'd be fun to share my top wardrobe items I reach for daily to give you a little inspo for creating your own uniform. I've found it both freeing and time saving to stick to a few core items when picking my daily outfits. 

Here's what I'm nonstop wearing now: 

#1: My [BALI] Birkenstocks

Bought a pair of [fake] Birkenstocks in Bali since my shoes we're killing me and they are now my #1 outfit staple. They go with everything (the Arizona color esp) and give the perfect natural lady of the earth vibe. I will 100% be upgrading to the real ones after my Bali ones give out 

Arizona Sandal in Mocha/ Birkenstock / $95

#2: Frayed Jean Skirt

This gets me by in 50% of my outfits also considering I live in California, but would be great layering with knee high boots or tights come fall. Worn exactly like this is Tre chic and the fray is that extra touch you need right now and forever

BDG Notched Denim Mini Skirt / Urban Outfitters / $59

#3 and #4: My Burned Velvet *JADE* Kimono and Leather Stomping Boots




Bought vintage at the rose bowl flea market for $60 (with matching-ish skirt)in LA on a whim and this piece has been getting MILEAGE. Burned velvet is HOT HOT HOT but get it vintage first or a paired down design - too many tassels and colors is annoying !

Vintage / $60 / Similar here and here 


This is my supreme ass kicking boot to walk the streets of LA or NYC -- the color and height of the heel make it my #1 👊 

ALDO Fearian Leather Heeled Ankle Boots / ASOS /  $100 - sold out but similar here and here

#5: Adidas Striped Leggings

I own 3 pairs of these leggings for working out and would gladly buy 10+. I love that they are thick but not restrictive and SUPER comfy. They hold up well vs other $25-$30 pairs and I prefer these by a mile to Lulus. Also you have instant street style and the stripes glow in the dark 👌

Adidas Originals 3 Stripe Legging / Urban Outfitters / $35

#6: Adidas Green Velvet Slides

ALMOST SOLD OUT EVERYWHERE - Found these in the men's section at Bloomies and impulse bought a pair for my brother and I - there's not an outfit these don't go with and they have instant swag, I'm still majorly into SLIDES !

Adidas Originals Velvet Slides / Shopbop / $65

let me know below if you're looking for any fall style items I'll hunt em down for ya xx

The Legit 2 Week Bali Itinerary: Activities, Shopping, Where to Eat

I took a trip to Bali (an island in Indonesia) last June/July with two of my closest friends and we had the most amazing, relaxing and fun vacation. You may have heard of Bali as a destination for yoga retreats, Instagram personalities, or the book & movie Eat, Pray, Love. The island was a complete creative paradise, a blend of natural beauty from the island, the warm and welcoming spirit of the people, and the care and creativity everyone put into their businesses.

I have to start out with: Bali exceeded my expectations.

To make sure we got the best of the best experience we did do our research. And we avoided as many cliche spots as we could (avoiding Kuta for example).

Many people asked me, why not go to Hawaii instead of an island halfway around the world? It was about adventure and experiencing a whole new world and mainly the spirit of the people. Bali was a taste of utopia for me - a place where people we're raised with a mindset valuing nature, happiness, gratitude, and a respect for the divine. The beauty and awe-ness of it all was because they put those values first.

I could go on a soapbox on this topic, but our culture does not. We value "hard work," getting deals, efficiency, busyness, and we haven't integrated spirituality with our culture. And it makes a difference. We don't make beauty and pleasure a priority first, and it's evident in the design of our new condos, fast casual restaurants, Starbucks etc. 

Being in a world that operates the opposite was a freeing effect. Yes I'm a bit of a hippie.

But anyway, you came here for recommendations:

We spent 12 days in Bali to really get comfortable in one place and understand their world. Some itineraries we looked at suggested to go to Thailand or other islands, but we stuck to two major cities so we really knew them instead of checking off our list saying we went somewhere instead of knowing somewhere. 

Day 1-4: Ubud

Ubud (pronounced OOOH-BOOD) is a town in central Bali northeast of the airport in Depensar, so we decided to start there and then make our way to the towns on the West Coast (Canggu, Seminyak & Uluwatu). 

For size comparison, Bali is 1/5 the size of Hawaii

For size comparison, Bali is 1/5 the size of Hawaii

We started there to start the trip on the right path by spiritually aligning, doing yoga, relaxing, and seeing some of the classic Bali attractions. 

Day 1:

Landed in Depensar airport and exchanged $500 for rupiah at the airport - used Money Changer closest to the driver pickup area where people are holding signs

Our Airbnb host's nephew Aka picked us up from the Ariport to our Aibnb

Checked into the Airbnb - HIGHLY recommend this place as there's two big beds and one little bed, your own private pool, a view of the rice patties from the "meditation deck," and breakfast every morning - the homemade banana pancakes and tomato egg sandwich were YUMMY. $88/night ($29/person between 3) was super affordable and we had our own villa

Walked around town down X street and bought a pair of fake Birkenstocks (Bali birks as I call em)

Campuhan Ridge Walk - beautiful path we walked past outside our Airbnb, if you don't stay there I recommend you walk around the "backroads" by Yellow Flower and Intuitive Yoga as you get the feel of living in a village 

Yellow Flower Cafe - a MUST as the vibe looking across the jungle from the restaurant was breathtaking, the food was organic and delicious, decor was macrame & artistically chic, and there's a cool bed table you can hang out at - get the euphoric flower water

Day 2

Intuitive Flow Yoga in the morning - intimate sized class and beautiful view of the jungle during class

Healer - We chose Cokorda Rai who's signature method of pinpointing your problems is to poke your toes with his stick and the trigger points indicate what needs healing in your life and does a healing prayer to aid in the process. We found a driver, Gede Sadarta, to drive us to his location with no promises he'd be able to help us as he takes clients on a "how he's feeling today" basis. Highly recommend this experience as it's very traditional for the Balinese. 

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary - a touristy activity where you enter a gorgeous forest filled with monkeys, and you can buy a bundle of bananas to feed them as they jump on you, beautiful but not a 100% must

Ubud Palace - beautiful palace open to the public, where you are given a sarong to wear while touring the palace - I'd opt for this one with the lily pads, we didn't have time to make it that far

Night Market - found amazing vintage jackets and shirts, ask Gede where the location of this one is - locals only :)

Day 3

Mount Batur Hike - My friends Lisa and Quinn went on this hike and loved waking up the the sunrise and cooking local food with the tour guide, I opted to sleep in and explore the town on foot and save extra $$$ since it was about $80USD.

Alchemy Cafe - possibly our #1 meal in Bali!!! We feasted on two raw pizzas (UNREAL - aloha and spinach & mushroom), Mexican burger, a dragonfruit smoothie bowl (CUSTOM MADE AT THE BOWL BAR), raw sushi, and Banoffee pie (menu here).  Also tons of beautiful people watching

River Rafting - X company - definitely a fun activity and took a gorgeous path through a jungle river - though not too scary, fun to meet other tourists and came with a meal

Bebek Tepi Sawah - our driver Gede recommended this place for local cuisine and the famous Bali duck (bebek) - the roasted duck and all the dishes did not disappoint! This place felt very authenic and overlooks a rice patty

Day 4

Yoga Barn - the most famous yoga studio in Bali, this place is basically a yoga compound filled with multiple studios, a cafe, and a performance area. We did the morning flow class (I'd recommend you try the Tibetan bowl meditation class or Vinyasa Flow L2) and got smoothies and energy balls at the cafe there. We also tried to sign up for the Cacao ceremony a few days out but it was full, if you've been let me know how it is !! - events calendar here

Ubud Art Market - packed with crochet tops, sarongs, the coveted woven circle bag, woven bowls and baskets, figurines, and all the souvenirs you could want for friends and family. Definitely a must to go to the main market and make sure to haggle with the locals to get the best price - start at 30% of the original price and apparently there's a morning price if you get there at the crack of dawn! Definitely plan half a day to shop here and the cute boutiques in the area - you'll feel like you're missing out if you don't give yourself time

Tegenungan Waterfall - the most popular waterfall in Bali, it's definitely worth going underneath the waterfall and feeling the earth though if you have the time I'd opt for the Aling Aling waterfall as it has a natural slide and is less touristy.

 Then we were off to Canggu - more coming in the next post !