This year I celebrated New Year’s Eve in LA at Unici Casa. I attended a Day Of The Dead event at this venue in November, and was so happy to be invited back by the EC twins, two of my favorite DJs.

I’ve never done anything besides lie on my couch for NYE–after all, the East Coast is freezing this time of year, so I’m never really in the mood to go out. After an invite from the EC twins, I decided to book a flight to LA for a few days; I couldn’t resist getting out of the cold.

Unici Casa is a super glam spot, and it has a fun red carpet entrance, so I love playing up whatever theme the hosts pick.

Sunday night’s theme was Casino Royale (i.e., black ties and Bond girls). Like I said, I’ve never gone full-glam for NYE before, so I went all-out in a hot pink mini dress with sequins and a bronze smoky eye.

I accessorized with a faux fur coat, sheer black stockings and velvety black heels. My favorite thing about fall/winter dressing is getting to mix different prints and textures, and the sequin-faux fur combo felt extra luxe. For a little more sparkle, I wore my nameplate earrings from The M.

Because I can’t get enough of this hot pink glitter lipstick from MAC Cosmetics, I went for neutral eyeshadow. The bronze smoky look I created gave my eyes just the right amount of drama to balance the bold lip, and I’m so happy with how it came out.

What I wore:

Coat, Free People, similar here

Dress, Free People

Shoes, by the way., purchased from Revolve

Bag, Pop & Suki

Earrings, The M Jewelers

Of course I also had to do some exploring while in town. Thanks to a two-week free trial from Class Pass, I got to visit a few exercise studios in the LA area. My fav was a cycling class at FlyWheel’s Santa Monica location, but I also tried barre and pilates, which were great, too.

It’s not a trip to LaLa land without a hike! LA is home to some of the best hiking in the world, so I always try to squeeze one (or two!) in while I’m here. Thanks to the holiday, I had a little extra time, so I met up with a friend and we decided to take a trip to Malibu’s Point Dume for a sunset hike.

Because you access the trails directly from the beach, this spot combines the best of both worlds: bluffs with gorgeous views that are perfect for hiking, as well as miles of Malibu’s famous shoreline. The pictures hardly do Point Dume any justice; I can’t wait to visit during the spring and summer when it’s beach weather.

Before heading home, I hit up some new and old favs on Melrose. I stopped at Wasteland, one of LA’s best vintage retailers, for the first time, as well as Reformation Vintage and House Of Intuition.

And I had to stop by Little Tokyo in DTLA to stock up on some of my must-have beauty essentials at Make Asobi. I discovered this gem filled with sheet masks and other unique skincare items while visiting LA in June, so I always make it a priority to stop by and pick up some things not easily available on the East Coast. I leave plenty of extra room in my suitcase 😉

I hope 2018 is treating everyone well so far! I cannot thank my readers enough for your support throughout 2017 and into this new year. Although party season may be over, I very much look forward to continuing to create a ton of quality content for you guys in 2018. I also hope to interact with everyone more, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below, or get in touch with me on any of my social media platforms (links to the right if you’re on a desktop, or down below if you’re on a mobile device).

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I know it has been a minute since I’ve shared a monthly favorites with HM readers. But, I just can’t avoid it any longer; there are a *ton* of new things I have really been loving lately that I need to share with my readers.

Besides Prince Harry’s royal engagement (eep!), I put together a post on everything else I’ve been obsessing over this month (hint: there’s a ton from Sephora’s VIB sale). Now excuse me while I go scroll through Meghan Markle boards on Pinterest…

Fiorucci: By now everyone on here knows my obsession with Devon Carlson, one of the designers behind Wildflower Cases. Through her I’ve discovered some of my favorite people, places and things (like Girl At The White Horse, an L.A. bar). Arguably the coolest, though, is Fiorucci, an Italian label that mixes Dolce Vita luxury with British street style.

Back and better than ever, Fiorucci is one of the most unique labels on the market today–and it has such a rich history. As an Italian girl myself, I quickly fell in love with Fiorucci, but held out until Black Friday to order a few things from their site. To me, their pieces are casual, yet structured, with the perfect amount of sexy for everyday life.

Unlike a lot of other high-end labels, Fiorucci creates pieces I actually want to wear and that I can feel like myself in. I’ll most likely end up creating a lookbook (or two!) focusing on the pieces I bought, but for now I’ll link my favorites here, here and here.

Neisy Bra by Are You Am I: I picked this bra up at the AYAI showroom in Downtown Los Angeles last month, and I have barely taken it off since. Like everything from Are You Am I, this piece fits beautifully; it’s seriously like second skin.

And not only is it comfortable, it looks the part, too. Comfortable bras that are also pretty are super hard to come by–especially when you have a bigger chest. Its thick strips complement the thin rib detail on the cup portion (while providing a little extra support), and it has a gorgeous gold clasp detail on the back.

Unfortunately, this baby is out of stock. But, you can’t go wrong with anything from AYAI. I Promise 😉

Bali Body Shimmering Body Oil: You guys already know how much I love Bali Body’s skincare range; while I can’t make it through the summer months without their Watermelon Tanning Oil SPF 6, their BB Cream is my holy grail year-round.

Just in time for the holidays the Aussie cult-favorite brand debut their Shimmering Body Oil, and it definitely delivers. Unlike their tanning oils, though, Shimmering Body Oil is meant to be worn with *or without* the sun.

It instantly bronzes the skin while giving you a shimmering (duh!) golden glow. And because it’s from BB, it’s insanely nourishing, moisturizing and smells amazing–even better than their original coconut body oil in my opinion.

I love using it on top of–or sometimes instead of–BB’s Bronzing Lotion for that fresh-from-vacay look anytime, anywhere. Shimmering Body Oil, balibody.co

Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipstick in Chihuahua: Ever since I picked up MAC’s Persistence over the summer, I’ve been loving a bold nude lip. Too Faced’s Melted formula has been a favorite of mine for more than two years, so during Sephora’s VIB sale I picked up this shade.

Chihuahua is the perfect match for nearly any eye look, and this high-impact formula can’t be beat: it provides a glossy shine without sacrificing bold color payoff.

Unlike other liquid lipsticks, there’s no need to babysit this formula all day (or night!) long. And because it feels hydrating, lightweight and comfortable, has been my go-to lip color all month long–I even wore it on Thanksgiving! $21, sephora.com

MAC Cosmetics Frost Lipstick in Pink, You Think?: While Chihuahua has been my everyday lip, MAC’s Pink, You Think? has been my go-to for special occasions.

I ventured to L.A. twice in November, and I always love experimenting with fun colors when I’m out there (more so than when I am home on the East Coast). So, this lippie came along for the ride both times.

When I wore this hot neon pink lipstick (with blue pearlescent undertones) for the first time, I paired it with a gray cat-eye look. And the second time I went for a semi-coordinating pearlescent pink eye look. On both occasions, though, this lip color was a hit.

The neon pink hue is stunning, and it doesn’t look weird when it starts to disappear; on me it fades into a sun-kissed coral color. I never see this shade going out of style. $17.50, maccosmetics.com

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask: This was another Sephora VIB sale purchase. After hearing a ton of my fellow Glossier Reps gush about this product, I finally gave into the temptation (couldn’t resist that 20-percent off deal).

I was a little hesitant at first because my skin can be pretty sensitive, but figured with the discount and Sephora’s killer return policy, the risk was minimal.

Not only does it smell amazing, it actually gets the job done! As I’ve gotten older, I noticed my skin (which is normally on the oily side) gets a little dry and somewhat irritated during the colder months. So, I need something extra in my routine to keep my complexion hydrated this time of year.

Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer is great after cleansing, toning and serum-ing, but Watermelon Glow definitely gives my skin that boost it needs before bedtime. $45, sephora.com

Ouai Hair Oil: If you read one of my previous posts, you know I also *finally* tried a few products from the Ouai during Sephora’s VIB sale. While I love everything I picked up, Hair Oil is the stand-out product for me; I find myself reaching for this guy nearly every day.

The nourishing blend of ingredients protects hair from heat damage while mending split ends. And for me, one pump is enough to tame the fly-aways around my face–the best part? I no longer need heat tools to do that!

I’ll also apply Hair Oil to dry tresses before bed to help strengthen my hair overnight. $28, sephora.com

The Fashion Law (website): I’ve been super busy wrapping up my thesis proposal, so I haven’t had too much time to read for pure pleasure. Thankfully, I love my field of research, especially when it gives me the chance to catch up on The Fashion Law, one of my favorite sites for several years now.

TFL has always been my go-to for keeping up with the industry. But more importantly, it was a huge influence in selecting my research topic.

While big names like Vogue and Marie Claire focus heavily on celebrity and pop culture-related content, TFL provides meaningful, in-depth pieces on the industry’s law and business–and it’s still fun to read. The more I learn about the industry, the more I can appreciate that.

Because TFL has been such a big part of my life lately, I decided to include it in my favorites this month even though I’ve been keeping up with it since 2014.

Honorable mentions: Wowder in Light/Medium by Glossier, Daily Oil Wash by Glossier, Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha by Fenty Beauty, Bronzing Lotion by Bali Body, kirakira+ (iPhone app), Sweatsuit in Camel Khaki by Danielle Guizio NY

What have you been loving this month?

What fashion and beauty items have you been reaching for the most? Are there any inspiring or informative books, magazine articles or blogs I should check out? Let me know your current lifestyle favorites in the comments down below! Xx

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With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to get a leg up on our holiday shopping! And while Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals tempt us to consume, consume, consume, we must make conscious decisions about which retailers to support.

Shopping is necessary this time of year, so being a consumer is unavoidable. After all, we need gifts for our loved ones, and it *is* O.K. to treat yourself to something you’ve been eyeing once in a while. However, @bonfirebeachkids shared an important message via Instagram last week:

Every purchase you make sends a message. And for every great point about what we [as brands and retailers] are doing to help the planet and the people building our goods, there is a valid counter point. Everyone is a critic, but very few are taking accountability for our actions. Here’s what I believe – Every one of you is going to shop anyway. Whether for yourself, or for others. So shop with your heart, and make buying decisions you believe in…PLEASE [GO] SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD RETAILERS. Because if you don’t, they aren’t going to be around much longer! But whatever you do, buy what you believe in and GIVE BACK to charities and those in need along the way. Be thankful we live in a world where we actually have all the options that we do, and follow the path that feels right for you.

This is advice all shoppers can (and should!) take to heart this holiday season. That being said, I rounded up quite a few products–in all price ranges–from amazing brands that I love and trust. And because these brands are so careful to craft their products, these are gifts you’ll *actually* looove to give (and receive)!

Similarly, giving back to our communities as a whole is just as important as buying gifts for our loved ones this season. One thing that holds me back, however, is not being able to trust 100 percent of charities out there.

Although it flat-out sucks we have to be careful when choosing a charity, there are quite a few out there that have rightfully earned a bad reputation. So, I added info on four of my favorite charities to this his-and-hers holiday gift guide!

Happy shopping! Be sure to leave your favorite holiday gifts (to give and receive), as well as your favorite charities, in the comments below. Xoxo

Under $35

Stabilo Pens, set of 30: For anyone who likes to stay organized, this set of 30 fine-point markers are a must-have. The .4 millimeter tip ensures writing is a breeze, while an array of colors makes getting the job done a little more fun. $13.58, amazon.com

Bite Beauty The Perfect Pair Amuse Bouche lipstick & lip pencil $15, sephora.com

Pop & Suki Pouf Pencil $18, popandsuki.com

ColourPop All I See Is Magic eyeshadow palette: This jewel-toned eyeshadow palette, complete with 15 individual hues, definitely isn’t something she’ll pick up for herself. $20, colourpop.com

Free People Agate Powerbank Charger: Every 21st-century gal needs a portable phone charger. This one looks just as cute as the purse in which she’ll put it. $24, freepeople.com

Pop & Suki Soup Tin Candle $25, popandsuki.com

ColourPop Golden State Of Mind eyeshadow palette: Another gorgeous ColourPop palette–this one is full of 15 glittery and metallic shades! $26, colourpop.com

Bali Body Shimmering Body Oil: If natural skincare is her thing, she’ll love this luxe body oil. With a hint of bronze for an instant, wash-off tan and gold shimmer, this fast-drying formula is unlike anything she has in her collection. $29.95, balibodyco.com

Glossier Custom Balm Trio: A good lip balm is a must-have, so give her three fun flavors of your choosing! Pick from tinted, un-tinted and even sparkly flavored balms. $30, glossier.com

$35-$50

Glossier Body Hero Duo: Upgrade her shower with these one-of-a-kind products! Daily Oil Wash fills her shower with a gorgeous neroli scent, while Daily Perfecting Lotion gives her skin a glow-y, moisturized sheen from the neck down. $35, glossier.com

Bite Beauty Champagne Discovery Lip Set: This universally flattering 3-part set has something for every occasion. The matte Multistick can be used on her eyes, cheeks and lips; the lip pencil preps her pout for any lip color she’ll add afterwards; and the gloss is perfect for any special occasion from date night to New Year’s Eve with the gals. $35, sephora.com

Glossier Mask Duo: One for when her skin’s feeling dirty, and another for when it’s feeling dry. $40, glossier.com

Pop & Suki Leather Notebook: This personalized leather notebook will keep her organized–and stylish–in the new year. $40-$50, popandsuki.com

Dady Bones Puff Ball Earrings: As seen on mega babe Behati Prinsloo! $45, dadybones.com

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask: Not only does this unique mask smell like a dream, it actually works–and it will look ultra-luxurious on her top shelf. $45, sephora.com

St. Tropez Award Winning Kit: For the self-tanner junkie on your list, this kit has everything she needs for a top-to-toe glow. $49, ulta.com

$50-$80

Glossier Cloud Paint Quad: These user-friendly, utlra-pigmented cheek tints are unlike any other product on the market. Save on all four hues when you shop the Quad, and the ladies on your list can create custom hues by mixing their favs together. $55, glossier.com

Glossier You: The ultimate personal fragrance. $60, glossier.com

Bali Body Sunshine Trio (SPF 6) bundle: Give her her choice of scent with this set of three nourishing body and tanning oils. $65.95, balibodyco.com

Bali Body The Complete Glow bundle: She’ll glow even when there’s no sunshine with this cult-favorite BB Cream, instant bronzing lotion and body/tanning oil. $69.95, balibodyco.com

Hot As Hell Comin’ In Haht Bodysuit: Bodysuits are the must-have fashion item because they’re so versatile. Embrace “slow fashion” by gifting her this gorgeous lacy number from sustainable label Hot As Hell. $70, shop.hot-as-hell.com

Pop & Suki Zip Pouch: This wallet and travel pouch also doubles as custom clutch for her next night out. $75, popandsuki.com

$80-$130

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil: Negin Mirsalehi created the ultimate luxury hair oil. This multitasking formula is infused with honey to keep hair healthy. And because beekeeping has been the Mirsalehi family business for generations, you know she can trust it. $84, gisou.com

Bali Body The Golden Traveler bundle: For the beach babe in your life. Your girl will have everything she needs for her next vacay (or stay-cation) with the ultimate BB bundle. BB Cream and Moisturizing Lotion will be her daily saviors, while Moisturizing Sunscreen and a choice of tanning oil will keep her skin glow-y and smooth on the beach. $99.95, balibodyco.com

Reformation Pajama Set: Every gal needs something cozy up in this time of year. In Ref’s classic pajama set, she won’t have to sacrifice style–or sustainability–for comfort! $128, thereformation.com

Are You Am I Cruxe Choker: Dainty chokers are the It accessory. Start (or add to!) her collection with this beauty from AYAI. $129, areyouami.com

$130 and Up

Prynt Pocket Smartphone Instant Photo Printer $150, bloomingdales.com

For Love & Lemons Vanessa Bra $95, and Vanessa Thong $77, shop.forloveandlemons.com

Fiorucci Angels Sweatshirt: She’ll be cozy while she sets trends in this cool-girl label. $175, fiorucci.com

Pop & Suki Camera Bag: This surprisingly spacious cross-body bag will quickly become her go-to for every occasion. $195, popandsuki.com

Hot As Hell 1 Track Mind Pant $198, shop.hot-as-hell.com

Various

Crystals: A unique way to decorate her space while channeling positive energy, crystals are available in all shapes, colors and sizes. Prices vary, celestial-awakenings-crystals.com

Literally Me, coffee table book by Julie Houts: “Instagram’s favorite illustrator” depicts life in the 21st century life (as well as tales from her childhood) in her first official publication. Prices vary, juliehouts.com

Wildflower limited edition iPhone cases: These Insta-famous iPhone cases are cute and durable. Prices vary, wildflowercases.com

Byredo fragrances and home fragrances: Staple pieces on every It girl’s top shelf, Byredo’s high-end perfumes and candles are everyday luxuries she’ll love. Prices vary, byredo.com

And for him…

Personalized water bottle by S’well: He’ll never misplace this drink bottle because it has his name on it! (Plus, it keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours.) $35-$55, swellbottle.com

Lush Cosmetics Five O’Clock Whisle Shaving Smoothie: The cruelty-free, eco-friendly label says it best! Per Lush’s website, “soothing lavender and invigorating coffee with nourishing jojoba oil and olive oil for the closest, softest shave possible. Kiss razor burn goodbye and say hello to silky smooth, perfectly soothed skin.” $13.95, lushusa.com

Lush Cosmetics Veerappan Moustache Wax: Help him soften and sculpt his facial hair with this blend of nourishing waxes and oils. But beware–you’ll want to borrow some of this for yourself because it also helps seal split ends. $17.95, lushusa.com

Fiorucci Playing Cards: A deck of cards emblazoned with Fiorucci’s signature angels puts a trendy twist on an old-school favorite. $32, fiorucci.com

Calvin Klein Cotton Stretch 3-pack Boxer Brief: The #MyCalvins gang isn’t just for us gals. $42.50, calvinklein.us

Fiorucci Robot iPhone Charger: Your guy needs a portable charger, too. This one from Fiorucci features art from the label’s archives. $50, fiorucci.com

Patagonia Men’s Houdini Jacket: A lightweight, durable and water-repellent jacket folds into its own pouch so your guy can save room in his backpack or luggage. $99, patagonia.com

Don’t forget to give back!

This time of year is about giving back to your community and to charities close to your heart. For the past several years I’ve supported Kelsey’s CHRISTmas. Kelsey and I met during our undergraduate studies at West Virginia University and became fast friends.

After losing her older sister to leukemia, the med student launched her namesake charity to make the holidays brighter for the children (and the ICU staff!) of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Kelsey’s CHRISTmas, which is in its 11th year, raises more than $20,000 annually. In the years to come, Kelsey hopes to bring her CHRISTmas to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Click here to make a donation to Kelsey’s CHRISTmas via PayPal, and here to learn more about the charity. If you are in the Pittsburgh area and would like to donate your time to Kelsey’s CHRISTmas, visit the charity’s Facebook page.

Growing up with a father who works in tech, I’ve always been computer-savvy. But, it wasn’t until recently I discovered all girls (and women!) are not so lucky. That’s why I love Girls Who Code, an organization that inspires, educates and equips girls for careers in STEM fields. Visit the organization’s website to learn more and to make a donation.

After a semester-long project that focused on food access problems and solutions, I fell in love with Feeding America. This organization helps resolve hunger in the U.S. via 60,000 food banks and meal programs across the country. Together, they provide healthy, nourishing foods to millions of hungry Americans. To learn more about Feeding America and to make a donation, visit the organization’s website.

The holidays in America would be nothing without those who fight daily for our safety and freedom. As 1 in 3 military vets suffers from PTSD, supporting our troops is necessary. Wounded Warrior Project is a trustworthy charity that cares for America’s bravest. Click here to support this organization.

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This month Glossier lovers can save on a new duo: Lip Gloss + your choice of Generation G, a sheer, matte lipstick. Every girl needs this universally flattering, no-fuss duo in her life!

Glossier’s signature Lip Gloss gives your lips glassy, cushiony shine that lasts–plus, the never-sticky formula is super nourishing. It is so gorgeous on its own, or layered over virtually any other lip product.

Gen G, on the other hand, is a build-able matte lip color: 1-2 swipes gives you a diffused look, while 3-4 swipes gives your lips a more opaque look. Unlike other lipsticks, Gen G is easy to use and definitely does not require any babysitting throughout the day (or night). My favs are Leo, a warm cocoa brown, and Crush, a hot, pink-hued raspberry.

Though you save by shopping the duo, I love wearing these two products on their own. Lip Gloss is such a fun spin on a childhood classic, while Gen G is ideal for creating that just-bitten, popsicle stain pout.

Similarly, I am still obsessing over You, Glossier’s new fragrance that launched last month. While it has a high-end look and, of course, smell, it is still down-to-earth and wearable. It’s cool. It’s sexy. And it’s the perfect fresh/musky balance.

You is comprised of three base notes that sit close to your skin: smooth and salty ambrox, warm ambrette and musk. It is complemented by top notes woody iris root and sparkling pink pepper. This scent is warm, smart and clean, and it pairs perfectly with Glossier’s Lip Gloss + Gen G duo.

Shop through my link to save 20 percent on your first Glossier order, *and* enjoy free shipping every time you spend $30/£25!

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Joshua Tree National Park has been on my bucket list for years! So, I finally booked a last minute flight and Airbnb a few weeks ago to celebrate the bulk of my thesis research being done (after conducting a few interviews while on the road).

Between work and friends, I am in L.A. multiple times a year; it’s quickly becoming my second home. Still, the city has so much to offer, and there is always something new to check out while I’m there.

This time I explored Chinatown, Little Tokyo, The Broad, Koreatown, DTLA, Hollywood and, of course, the Laurel Canyon/Studio City area where I stayed.

Chinatown and Little Tokyo have great shopping; I’d 100 percent rather shop at off-beat, local stores than the big-name stores in town. That being said, I did check out Reformation’s first-of-its-kind vintage shop, which was ah-mazing.

Although Ref is a popular label (especially among the L.A. crowd), its vintage shop, which is exclusive to L.A.’s famed Melrose Avenue, offers specially curated pieces from tons of different brands. And because it’s Ref-curated, everything was gorgeous!

Koreatown, on the other hand, is one of my top places in L.A. for food–I am such a sucker for all the authentic Korean (and Thai!) restaurants in the area. Dim Sung Sa is about as authentic as it gets (not only the food, but the atmosphere, too)!

The Broad museum, which is near Little Tokyo, is hands-down the coolest modern art museum I’ve ever visited. In addition to big names like Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons, The Broad has quite a few other spectacular pop art and cartoon-y pieces lining its walls. And all of it truly reflects L.A.’s unique vibes.

I also stopped by DTLA for the first time ever to visit Are You Am I’s showroom, or LOFT, as its called. The space is absolutely gorgeous, and I am so happy I was able to see the label’s designs IRL #apartmentgoals.

After that I took a short walk to a cafe called Verve for some L.A.-style juice while I caught up on emails and other work- and school-related business.

Then, I headed down the street to The Last Bookstore, a huge bookstore famous for its second-floor Labyrinth. Home to more than 100,000 books organized by color for a rainbow-like effect, or by genre on shelves arranged to create a maze-like feeing, the Labyrinth is complete with hidden book rooms and plenty of spaces to sit down and read (as well as a larger-than-life, photo-worthy tunnel of books).

A night out (or two!) in Hollywood is a necessity when visiting L.A. because there are so many cool spots within walking distance. After takeout from Sugarfish (an L.A. staple), we started at State Social House and ended up at The Argyle–quite possibly my new favorite spot in town.

On another night we hit up a new spot called Girl At The White Horse, which had great vibes and the *cutest* hot pink decor, after eating dinner at Dave’s Hot Chicken, the best comfort food in L.A.

I also enjoyed a night out in Studio City at a chill bar called Laurel Tavern, the perfect place to grab a couple drinks after a long day.

We spent Saturday and Sunday night in Joshua Tree before leaving mid-morning on Monday. Like I said, that place has been on my bucket list for years, and I am *so* happy to be able to cross it off. Although I managed to get some beautiful pictures, they don’t really do Joshua Tree justice; it is an insanely beautiful place in person with the coolest vibes to match.

During the daytime we hiked to 49 Palms Canyon Oasis, which is a stunning trail from start to finish. Then, we toured downtown in the afternoon and evening. The main road 29 Palms Highway (CA 62) is full of neat art, shops and restaurants.

We checked out a gift shop, as well as the Joshua Tree Saloon–where we had a killer Mexican meal, complete with jalapeño margs–before heading to the Sun Alley Shops and the World Famous Crochet Museum. I picked up a couple stickers to add to my collection, and some local prickly pear cactus jelly and Joshua Tree seeds to bring home to my parents.

Monday morning we brunched at Crossroads Cafe, where I had the best burger and fries of. my. life. Not exaggerating. This little place has a ton of options, and everything on the menu looked delish; it’s definitely a must-do brunch spot if you are in the Joshua Tree area.

I was so sad to leave JT but I know for a fact I’ll be returning some day; our Airbnb was clean, spacious and, best of all, private–I’d return again in a heartbeat. It had a killer outdoor shower, and it was perched on top its own hill, making it the ideal spot to checkout the views day or night.

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