One Year

Today marks one year since Adam and I got married in Hawaii. It’s flown by. I swear we were there only a few months ago.


When we got engaged, I started looking at a few venues and I just could not believe how expensive everything was going to add up to be. Adam and I are the kind of people who don’t love all of the spotlight and attention on us and we wanted something small that we could really enjoy instead of being stressed out.

We started looking at destination weddings and I wanted something that would be legal so that we wouldn’t have to get married twice. We ended up choosing Kauai and got to work with a travel agent to get everything booked. That part wasn’t our best experience but they got the hotel and flights booked for us. Finding someone to marry us and a good photographer was a little harder. I started calling people I found on Google and searching on Instagram for photographers. I found a retired couple that was really helpful and they weren’t too expensive. They had packages that included photographers so I could pick one of her options. She took care of all of the beach permits and set up the appointment for the marriage license too.

Before we knew it, it was time for the trip. We only brought our parents to keep things simple and easy. We got married on the north side of Kauai at Hanalei Bay. One of the only times it rained the whole trip was during the ceremony. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it cleared the beach of any people and made for amazing pictures.




They timed the wedding purposefully at sunset and with the storm it made the pictures unreal.

Adam took me out to the Melting Pot a couple nights ago since he had to go out of town for work. It was sweet because I didn’t think we were even doing anything! He says we’ll go back to Hawaii for our 5 year anniversary. 4 years to go!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo, Steph


Travel Tips: Where to Stay

One of the things I’ve always been in charge of during trips is finding where to stay. I love to find a really good deal for places that are going to be cute and comfy. While I know there are people that don’t care about where they stay during a vacation because the goal is to “spend all your time exploring”, I prefer to have a nice place to come back to so I can relax.

When I went to Hawaii three years in a row (and went for a week or two), people were a little shocked because they were wondering how I could afford a hotel in Hawaii for such a long time. Little did they know, I’m super big on research!

I find that if you’re only going to stay with one other person, it’s pretty much sixes as to whether you check hotel sites or sites like Airbnb because paying for two people is going to be about the same. But whenever you’re planning on going with a lot of people, these sites I’m going to talk about are the best!

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The Wyndham Bali Hai Villas we stayed at in Princeville, photo courtesy of Club Wyndham

One of my favorite places to look at when I’m trying to find a place to stay is Airbnb, especially if I’m going on a trip with a group of friends. Not only are there tons of people renting out their places through Airbnb but there are so many types to choose from! The last time I went to Hawaii, I went with 5 other people so we found a great Airbnb in Princeville on Kauai that had two bedrooms and three beds, as well as a kitchen and two bathrooms with showers. It was perfect!

Wyndham Airbnb

*Note: the pricing shown may be different than what I originally paid as prices fluctuate depending on dates.

We stayed 8 nights at this place and the total amount was $1550, which came out to only $258 per person for lodging for the entire trip! It was a great deal. That’s like one night at a 5-star hotel but we spent 8 nights in a gorgeous condo! It’s definitely worth checking out Airbnb.

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Kauai Beach Resort, photo courtesy of their website

Another website I swear by is VRBO. The first time we went to Hawaii, I wanted to make sure we were getting a great deal and it wasn’t going to be super expensive. There were only four of us on this trip. I found a hotel room at the Kauai Beach Resort that someone owned privately and was renting out. It had two beds, which was perfect for the 4 of us and allowed us to use all the amenities of the resort!

Kauai Beach Resort VRBO

Let me tell you what a great deal this was by breaking it down:
Currently, a room with two beds at the Kauai Beach Resort ranges from $329 to $619 a night. Pretty steep…
We got the deal of $95 a night (is your mind blown yet?) and paid a total of $528.70 for 5 nights! Divided by four people, we each paid $132.18 for lodging during that trip.

You guys have to check out VRBO because it’s honestly the best.

When I was growing up, my parents would always surprise us with last minute trips where we’d get home from school and they’d be like, “Hurry and pack, we’re going to San Francisco!” My little anxious heart doesn’t like surprises because I’m a legitimate planner but I’ve gotten better at this. Back then, people didn’t book rooms as much as they do now so my parents would just find a hotel and pay whatever rate it was.

Today, my parents still like taking spontaneous trips (like to the Hoover Dam or when we went to Seattle a couple months ago) but this time, I’m more prepared. We usually drive to these places so during the drive, I look through Expedia and see what I can find.

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Highland Estates Resort, photo courtesy of

When we went to the Hoover Dam, we left later in the day than we were planning so we were all exhausted by the time we were reaching Mesquite. We decided to stay there so when we passed St. George, I got on Expedia’s website and found a two-room suite at the Highland Estates Resort in Mesquite for $169.22. We only needed it for one night but my sister and I got our own room & my parents had their own (which helped with my dad’s snoring) and it had a kitchen and living room! It was super spacious and we wished we could have stayed longer.

Highland Springs Expedia

I used Expedia as well when we went to Seattle and found a brand new hotel that had only been open a week! It was awesome being one of the first people to sleep in a bed, let’s be real.

You can get really cool deals sometimes when you reserve hotels last minute although it’s a risk I don’t always love to take. Personally, I think you can find really awesome deals if you plan ahead but there are always options if you forget.

What are your favorite places to find hotel deals? If you end up trying any of these and LOVE it, let me know!


Kauai, Hawaii

If I had to choose right this very moment what my favorite place in the world was, it would be Kauai. It’s so beautiful and the people there are incredibly nice and welcoming. I’ve been there three times and each time was just as fun as the last one. Steph even got married there but that’s a story she’ll have to share 🙂

Going through three years of pictures was rough (so many selfies!) but I got some of my favorites to show you and to give you an idea of what to do if you happened to find yourself on this beautiful island.

North Shore

The north shore of Kauai is so luscious and green, it’s insane. From Kilauea to the Na Pali Coast, it feels like you’re in Jurassic Park (I know, I know, some of it was filmed on Kauai) but it really feels like you’re going to see a T-Rex pop up out of nowhere.

Na Pali Coast / Kalalau TrailProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetThis is one of my favorite pictures that I took while hiking the Kalalau Trail. This is the Na Pali Coast, untouched by roads, houses, and construction. It’s honestly breathtaking.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThis is another view from the lookout on the Kalalau Trail. If you’re not a big hiker, you can still stop here and get some great shots because it’s not too far from the trailhead.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetHere’s a snapshot of the trail. Make sure you wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and dirty, especially if you’re hiking this during a rainier part of the season.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThis is a view from the lookout that we took when it wasn’t so sunny.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetMy sister took this shot of my friends and I hiking the trail last year. I’m the one in all black (and dying, go figure).

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThis is a picture of me earlier during that hike before I got so hot that I had to take my shirt off.

Let me tell you a story about this hike. We hiked to Hanakapi’ai Falls this last year and it was hard. It’s all kicks and giggles on the way there but I was dying (and was completely unprepared) for the trek back. It’s 8 miles round trip and I think we all had brought one water bottle each and a couple granola bars. On the way back down, I honestly thought so many times about jumping off the cliff into the water because it was SO hot and we had no more fuel. By the time I got to the bottom, my arms had cramped up so bad that my hands looked like claws. Yeah, you read that right… CLAWS. I couldn’t move them. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep next to some rocks by the trailhead while my friends got the van. Anyway, I might skip that hike next time but the pictures were worth it, I guess! 😉

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThis is Hanalei Bay. It’s one of my favorite beaches on Kauai because the water is so shallow, you can swim out super far and just hang out. It also has an incredible view of those mountains on the Na Pali Coast!

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetMy friend Santino took this super cute pic of me at Hanalei Bay last year and it’s one of my faves. (If you’re digging the swimsuit, get it here from Albion Fit)

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThe second year we went to Kauai, it was gloomy and rainy the majority of the time but we tried to make the most of it. It kinda looks like I’m boogie boarding in Twin Peaks or something.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThis is in Hanalei. This is what most of the shops in that area look like.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetWe went paddle boarding on the Hanalei River the last two years and both times, it POURED on us on the way back. Don’t let this clear-ish picture fool you, we had soaked hair, makeup running down our faces and wet clothes after. It was like when Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are in that rowboat in The Notebook and it’s pouring rain (except none of the steamy scenes).

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetWe ate at this restaurant called Kalypso Bar & Grill and it’s a yummy place!

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThis is the Hanalei Valley Lookout on the way to the Bay. It’s gorgeous and you’ll see lots of cars parked here to take pictures!

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This is the Kilauea Lighthouse! It’s adorable, huh? There’s not a ton to see here so I wouldn’t plan on spending the day here but it’s nice to stop by and look at for a second.

Another great beach on the North Shore that I don’t think I have pictures of is Anini Beach. It’s not super crowded and the water is great.

West Shore / Coconut Coast

We probably spent the majority of the time exploring this side of the island. There’s a lot to do around here! One thing I will suggest you do is to rent some bikes from Coconut Coasters and ride up and down the trail. We have done that all three times and it never disappoints!

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetRiding the trail will get you over to this cute overlook!

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetAnd will let you see views like this! *heart eyes*

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThis is a view from Sam’s Ocean View Restaurant in Kapa’a. You can see the cute bike trail.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThe second year we went, we did this super cute boat cruise with Smith’s Fern Grotto Tours. It’s on the Waimea River.

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They take you to this cave where people used to get married. It’s a gorgeous place so I can see why!

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetIt started to get dangerous so they built this deck right next to the cave so people could still get married if they wanted to. The employees bring all their instruments and they sing the cutest songs so you get an idea of how they would celebrate weddings!

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetAnother great thing you can do on the Waimea River is kayaking! This is my sister and I the first year we went. We had a blast and the kayaking tour we did takes you to a place where you dock your kayaks, hike for a little bit and takes you to a secret waterfall where they provide lunch. So all in all, pretty dang cool.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetKeālia Beach is a straight-up DREAM. There is no better place to get your swim on and your tan on. It’s a truly gorgeous beach and the bike trail passes by here so it’s easy to get to!

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One of my favorite places to eat in Kapa’a is Bubba Burgers. I’m a burger & fry junkie so this is my kind of place. It’s so delicious. I crave their fries every day.

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A cute sign in Kapa’a

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThis is my sister and I at one of our favorite spots to eat called the Kalapaki Beach Hut.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThe Beach Hut is right by Nawiliwili Bay and this gorgeous beach!

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetOne thing we did last year was cliff jumping! Well, I should say that it was just me and two of my friends (we’re the top three people).

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetYou walk through this insanely beautiful trail of trees to get to the cliff and then you just jump off and climb back up! My goal was to do it once and I did but then on the way back, I crossed a slippery stream, slipped and hit my head and elbow on a rock and my friends had to come and get me. I’m not really accident prone but it just sounds like it. Anyway, I still give it a 10/10.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThis was something I had been DYING to do since the first time we were in Kauai and we finally got to do it last year. We went tubing in the rivers around an old sugar plantation and through caves! It was SO great.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetThis was definitely one of our most favorite activities!

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetThis is around the area we were tubing!

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetUs after 🙂

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We also ziplined through the areas where they filmed Jurassic Park our second year and that was a blast! They film everything for you and you get to take it home on a little flash drive.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetLast but not least, did you think I would forget a LUAU? The same group that does the Fern Grotto tour has their own luau and it was a blast! Lots of great food, entertainment and of course, the dancing!

South Shore

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetPoipu Beach is a MUST. It’s usually pretty crowded since a lot of people stay down on the South Shore but it’s always so much fun.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetThe other great thing to do on the South Shore is Waimea Canyon! They call it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and they’re so right.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetTold ya!

I love Kauai so so much. Have you ever been there? If so, let me know what else I need to do so I can schedule another trip out there pronto 🙂