10 Tips For Exploring Hawaii on a Shoestring Budget

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Hello! It's that time of the year where it's getting colder and plenty of people are itching to head somewhere warmer. "Somewhere with sunshine... and great food... and adventure... Somewhere like... like... like Hawaii!" Who all has had that exact thought at some point during the winter months? 🙆 I know I have. Thanks to today's guest post by Sebastian Tan, you can get to plannin' that vacation with his tips for an affordable trip to Hawaii!

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10 Tips For Exploring Hawaii on a Shoestring Budget



With so many Hawaii Mansions in the state, it’s no wonder why Hawaii is constantly on the lists of most expensive states to live in. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see it top the list! If you’re a traveler who is visiting the Aloha State on a limited budget, this bit of knowledge might frighten you. Fret not, for here are ten tips for exploring Hawaii on a shoestring budget. 


Look for free events

No matter where you traipse, there will always be something happening. The number one turn-off in attending these events would be the hefty entrance fee or expensive tickets. Fortunately, there are numerous free events for you to check out. All you have to do is purchase the paper or surf the Internet to look for any nearby occasions, which can be anything from historical to cultural to showcases. If you see something you like with a tiny charge of less than five bucks, go for it because it just might be worth it. 

Hike

Are you a bit athletic or just up for a new adventure? Then try hiking! The only thing you’ll need is a good pair of shoes, a walking stick, a bottle of water, some snacks, a towel for your sweat, and a cap. Plenty of hiking spots in Hawaii are free, so you’ll get a two for one deal here: exercise and a view to kill for at the top. 

Avoid expensive restaurants

They say one way you can explore a new place is by their food and same goes for Hawaii. Avoid any formal, sit in restaurants where one dish can cost you $20 upwards. Instead, spend less than ten bucks by going for the food trucks or asking the locals where the best cheap eats are. 

Stick to one island

There are eight main islands in Hawaii, all of them habitable. These are namely big island Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Kahoolawe, Niihau, Molokai, and Lanai. Traveling from one island to another will require some airfare and that isn't exactly something you have extra cash for when you are exploring Hawaii on limited money. Commit to one island only and the next time you visit Hawaii, explore the other islands; however, if you are staying in Maui, there is a chance for you to check out Moloka'i and Lana'i since a ferry is available for you to take. Don't you agree that that's a better option than forking over hundreds of dollars for airfare just to go island hopping?

Off season is the best season

If you want big discounts, go to Hawaii during the offseason. There are two offseasons: the first one is during late Spring, which is late April until early June. The second offseason is Fall, which is from September until mid of December. There will be fewer people and the airline fares are lower than ever. Accommodations are also at a discount; in fact, you just might be able to afford that hotel you’re eyeing if you go offseason. 

Travel local

No matter where you go, there are different ways to get from one place to another. For Hawaii, you have buses. Renting a car can set you back up to $70 a day. The main islands have their own bus lines, so instead of hailing a cab or taking an Uber, just ride the bus instead as it is much cheaper. If you have to rent a car, better utilize it and visit all the places inaccessible by public transportation. Or if it's possible, just walk; after all, walking is good for the heart.

Look into package deals

Some might think package deals are not worth it, but they are-- if you find the correct one for you and your companions. There are numerous packages out there for you and your friends or family. In fact, some of them are flexible, wherein you can substitute one activity for another. These may range from accommodations with travel fare included tours with accommodations to activity packages comprised of your favorite activities. The reason is some of these hotels have a contract or are tied in with tourism-related companies, therefore giving them the ability to offer these combos at the best price. 

Get your tickets in advance

If you really want to save big bucks, then you might need a lot of patience as this tip requires you to wait for a few months until your big holiday. Buying your tickets a couple of months before the trip would be ideal; make sure your departure and arrivals are anywhere from Monday to Thursday as tickets are at a better price for those days. 

Book accommodation in advance

Nothing can be worse than arriving at the hotel you want to stay only to find out there are no rooms available. After purchasing your tickets, it's time to find a place to stay. Try using travel booking websites like Agoda as these can help you find the best deal. Plus, some of these sites have point systems. When you've accumulated a certain number of points over time, you can even upgrade your room or get a free night. If this is not to your interest, then why not opt for a hostel? It's a great choice for those with minimal baggage and just want a good, clean place to stay. In addition, you just might garner a few friends when in a hostel. 

Coupons are your best friend

In the old days, to get coupons you really have to search every single page of every magazine you can get your hands on. Thankfully, these days you don't have to do this as with a few taps on your keyboard, you'll gain access to a multitude of coupons you can use during your Hawaiian holiday.


You need not blow your monthly budget with your Hawaiian getaway. With these tips, you're sure to save more than enough to go on your next adventure.

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Thanks to Sebastian for sharing his travel knowledge! I hope to see you all in Hawaii one day soon 😉


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Weekend Wear | Coffee Crewneck + Ripped Jeans + Sneakers

Friday, November 17, 2017


Happiest of Fridays to ya! Today's post features an ode (via an article of clothing...) to my all-time favorite beverage: COFF-AY. I didn't really start drinking coffee every day until my early 20s, and to this day I still regret not forming the sacred bond with God's Nectar earlier in life. Even after years of drinking the best of caffeinated concoctions though, my favorite part of #coffeelife is a new tradition Matt and I started doing after moving to La Jolla. We now spend our weekend mornings by leashing up the pups, taking a walk down to a local coffee shop, and then strollin' on down to the beach to watch the waves/surfers/fog roll in. Ahhh, sweet, sweet memories being made over a cuppa coffee.




Navy blue coffee graphic crewneck sweatshirt: As Of Latte

Red t-shirt (also seen here): Old Navy
[similar - on sale!]

Light wash ripped skinny jeans (also seen here, here & here): Target

Multicolored striped sneakers (also seen here, here & here): Old Navy
[similar - on sale!]


Silver triangle hoop drop earrings (also seen here, here & here): Target

Tortoiseshell and silver aviator sunglasses (also seen here, here & here): Old Navy

Engraved silver cuff bracelet: Gift





How do you take your coffee? I'm an unsweetened iced coffee with soy milk kinda gal - just in case you're ever feeling the urge to deliver me some. 😉 (And now after all this coffee talk, I'm craving it something fierce...)


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90s Revival | Chambray Top + Floral Dress + Ankle Boots

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Hi there! How are ya? I'm feelin' extra happy this weekend because I got to see my best friend since 6th grade, who was in town from San Francisco! Being with my longtime lady pals is by far one of my favorite pastimes. Isn't it borderline magic when your bonds with your childhood friends stay strong despite thousands of miles in distance and months, or even years, spent apart? I was lucky enough to find those kinds of lifelong friendships and I'll always be grateful to have them. (I'm lookin' at you, Roxanne, Jessica, and Amanda.)





Chambray button-down shirt (also seen here): Old Navy

Multicolored floral babydoll dress with lace detail: c/o Simply Be - currently on sale!

Carlos by Carlos Santana nude ankle boots (also seen here, here & here): Famous Footwear
[similar - currently on sale!]


Tortoiseshell sunglasses (also seen here, here & here): Jeffrey Bay




Gold stretch bracelet (also seen here, here & here): Target

Madewell gold cuff bracelet (also seen here, here & here): c/o Shopbop



Tying a chambray button-up over this cami dress felt so 90s to me. And I mean that in the best way possible. (Back in the 90s though, we would've been calling this a "jean shirt" rather than "chambray." If you were around then, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout.)

I love taking pieces from my closet that don't really seem to go together and trying to find a way to combine them in an actual outfit. Doing this allows us to rework the same items over and over again in new ways, rather than continually buying new clothing, which the environment - and our budgets - are certainly grateful for.

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Do you have lifelong friends/family members/neighbors/any loved ones that you haven't told lately how much they mean to you? If not, get on it. If so, consider doing it again. We can never spread too much love 😉

Happy Sunday-ing!


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Currently | My Favorite Vegan Products

Thursday, November 9, 2017


I'm coming up on my anniversary of being vegan (my veganniversary, if you will)! Therefore, I felt it was appropriate to share with you some of my current favorite vegan products that I've discovered over the past months since going totally plant-based and cruelty-free. Scroll down to see what's currently got my number (did I use that saying correctly? I'm awful at phrases.)!


1. Rice Cooker


I have never eaten as much rice as I have the past 10+ months. Even though I was a vegetarian for over 14 years prior to going fully plant-based, I never really cooked at home much. Going vegan forced me to learn to cook for myself, and it just so happens plenty of my favorite recipes revolve around rice. This kitchen appliance has become a lifesaver for us!


2. Schmidt's Natural Deodorant


I've mentioned my switch to more natural, cruelty-free, and vegan products before. I've been trying out different deodorants to see which I prefer. I most recently have been using Schmidt's, which is another brand I have been liking. Much like Tom's of Maine, it definitely is not an antiperspirant; thus, I do sweat a bit more than the old, chemical-ridden brands I previously used. But a little perspiration is worth it to me because we gotta cut out that aluminum!


3. sho BALANCE: Vegan, Gluten-Free Probiotics


If you happen to know my boyfriend Matt personally, then you know he is obsessed with supplements. He creates a vitamin cocktail for me to take every day and he is always emphasizing how people should be taking a daily probiotic. This particular one is vegan, gluten-free, helps, uh, keep ya regular, and boosts immunity. (Totally necessary especially for the upcoming winter cold-ridden months!)


4. So Delicious Salted Caramel Cluster Cashewmilk Ice Cream


Hands down this is the best vegan ice cream (AKA "nice cream" - get it?) I have ever shoved in my mouth by the pickup truck-full. Matt and I have to talk ourselves out of buying it every time we see it in stores because a pint never lasts more than one sitting between the two of us. It's just that good, plain and simple.


5. Thug Kitchen - The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck


This cookbook was given to us by sweet friends of ours (shout out to the Bennetts!). There are other cookbooks in the series (which you can also check out here), as well, all of which are amazing. The writing is hilarious, but most importantly there are so many diverse totally plant-based recipes to try!


6. Follow Your Heart Vegenaise


Oh my gaaah, this stuff tastes amazing. My favorite flavor is their Sriracha Vegenaise. It is pretty spicy, which makes it the perfect addition to... just about anything and everything. No, it's probably not healthy to smother things in mayo, but ya know, sometimes you just need to sauce boss out.


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Do you like these types of posts where I share my favorite finds? If you do, I'll keep writing them as I continue to discover new, affordable, vegan products I love. The more we purchase cruelty-free items, the more companies see there is a real demand for them. "Vote with your dollar" is the real deal, y'all! It's time we cast our votes in favor of the animals, the environment, and the well-being of our fellow humans.


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Olive You, Fall | Denim Jacket + Tank + Black Jeans + d'Orsay Flats

Monday, November 6, 2017


Hey there, I am so excited because I can finally share some news I've been wanting to tell you all! [Insert dramatic blogger announcement drumroll...] I recently started at a brand new job! Ever since moving to California, I was really looking at what I wanted my longterm career goals to be. I've been working in the nonprofit industry since I was in college, and ever since then. It's my passion and I love the NPO sector, but I really wanted to zero in on my exact passion. I always knew I wanted to work for animals, which I did back in Arizona when I worked at a shelter there. Long story short, over the course of the past year or so I finally realized that helping to reduce the suffering of the billions of farmed animals across the world is where my heart lies. Thus, here I am now, working for the next six months on a campaign that is aiming to get a bill on the 2018 California ballot that will upgrade laws relating to the extreme confinement of farm animals. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work on an incredible team of people on behalf of these innocent animals. I can't wait to see this world change and the welfare of animals to become a priority. (It's happening, people - and we can all help make it happen!)





Dark wash denim jacket (also seen here, here & here): Kohl's

Olive green v-neck tank top (also seen here): Old Navy

Cognac belt (also seen here, here & here): Gap

Black skinny jeans (also seen here, here & here): Old Navy

Leopard print d'Orsay flats (also seen here & here): Old Navy


Silver statement necklace (also seen here, here & here): American Eagle




So aside from continually pinching myself and being super psyched about my first days at my new job, this weekend was spent hanging out and cleaning up. (At least fall cleaning is better than spring cleaning though because picking up with the windows wide open and not having to deal with allergies is much more preferable, eh?)

How was your weekend?


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Lace-Ups | Oversized Sweater + Ripped Jeans + d'Orsay Flats

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


It's November!! AND it's sweater weather here in San Diego finally! I have been chompin' at the bit (is that a real saying or nah?) for the weather to cool down and now that it has, I plan to spend alllllllll the time outdoors. Hot coffee in hand, boots on my feet, and sweaters (such as the one in today's post) on my body, of course. Even though it's cliche to say, this really is the best time of the year. As far as I'm concerned November 1st is the official kickoff to the Christmas season, which is my NUMBA ONE FAVORITE. Time for the Christmas lights and decor to come out of storage and make their way up on our walls!





Black oversized lace-up sweater: c/o Simply Be - currently on sale!
See my other posts featuring my favorite Simply Be items here & here.

Light wash ripped skinny jeans (also seen here, here & here): Target

Cognac belt (also seen here, here & here): Gap

Leopard print d'Orsay flats (also seen here, here & here): American Eagle


Gold statement collar necklace (also seen herehere & here): H&M



Madewell gold cuff bracelet (also seen here, here & here): c/o Shopbop

Gold "Hello" cuff bracelet (also seen here): Old Navy

Green stone gold ring (also seen here & here): Gift from Matt via Ruche
[similar - on sale!]

Love Tatum gold chevron ring (also seen here & here): Shoppe California




How was your Halloween yesterday? Matt and I celebrated like the party animals that we are by taking our dogs on their nightly walk around our neighborhood. We checked out all the decorations and costumes; we were shocked though to see how few trick-or-treaters there were! Were there a lot where you live? (I hope kids still enjoy trick-or-treating. Halloween was our JAM growing up - candy and dress up? The makings of the actual best night of the year in a child's head!)


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Layered Lace | Sweatshirt + Skinny Jeans + Ankle Boots

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Hello! How was your weekend? Matt and I finally had NO PLANS for this weekend! That's our personal favorite type of Saturday and Sunday. We've been busy the past few weeks though, so we'd been missing our hoppin', boppin', and poppin' about town as we please. However, this weekend we limited the hoppin', boppin', and poppin' around because it was time to focus on the important things in life: watching all of STRANGER THINGS SEASON TWO, people!! Did you watch it? What did you think? We seriously binged all nine episodes in a matter of two days, so yeah. It was that kinda weekend. And I ate it right up.


White lace crewneck sweatshirt (also seen here, here & here): Target

Light pink tank top (also seen here & here): Old Navy

BLK DNM skinny jeans (also seen here, here & here): c/o Shopbop

LC Lauren Conrad brown ankle boots (also seen here, here & here): Kohl's

Cognac belt (also seen here, here & here): Gap


Silver statement necklace (also seen here, here & here): American Eagle

Silver link necklace (also seen here, here & here): Vintage





Please excuse my Brady Bunch-era looking hair in these photos. It was pretty damn windy this day and my hair just would not cooperate. I, for one, do not look "sexily windswept" when I'm in the elements. Are you the type of person who looks amazing caught out in the wind/rain/snow? If so, damn it, you're lucky. If not, worry not, as I'm sure there are plenty of people in our club. Let's be real here.

PS: Happy Halloween Eve Eve! Have fun and stay safe (and if you still need a costume, be sure to check out this post)!


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