MAUI TRAVEL GUIDE
We made our first trip together to Hawaii last month! It was a trip we had talked about taking for years together, and after a lucrative first part of the year I was able to buy tickets and surprise Alex for our 1 year wedding anniversary. The trip coincided with our 9 year dating anniversary, so it felt like the perfect place to celebrate and make some new memories together! Alex had been to Maui once as a kid, at around ten, but had few memories of what to do or see and mostly remembered sea turtles and black sand beaches from his first visit.
The first and hardest decision was simply what ISLAND to go to! There are 8 major islands, though obviously a few are far more frequently traveled than others. It had come down to choosing between Maui and Kauai for us, as we'd heard they both offered a very "Hawaiian" experience. Oahu and Hawaii seemed a little too 'city-like' for a vacation, and Kauai only lost out because I heard its better AFTER you've experienced Maui. Kauai is a much more 'rustic' and jungle-y island, more for the hikers and campers in your group than those who prefer to lounge pool- or oceanside. While we didn't stay in a resort (not our style!), we definitely felt the in-between on Maui of having everything you needed but also being a reasonable drive from anything you wanted. We loved it!
We flew out from LAX and took a direct flight to Maui. Five and a half hours later we were flying over Molokini, the horseshoe shaped crater off the southwest coast of Maui that we'd be snorkeling in just a few days later. It was incredibly gorgeous from above!
We stayed in an AirBNB and LOVED it (check out the house here), but we'll get there in a moment. After landing we scooped up our rental car, a basically requisite red open air Jeep to tour around the island in. Perfect for taking in that salty ocean air and traversing the sometimes sketchy roadways along the Road to (and from!) Hana.
On the way to our AirBNB we drove through our first real little beach town and the one that easily become our favorite throughout the week, Paia. Paia is a tiny, adorable little stop on the north side of the island. Since we were staying in Makawao, just south and toward the center of the island, Paia became a frequent stop for us going in and out of town. The first little spot we fell in love with was Choice Health Bar. Located directly downtown, this clean and bright spot offers fresh, often locally-sourced dishes with specials that change daily. Our first stop I just grabbed Lilikoi (local type of passion fruit) Acai Bowl, but we ended up back there often for their warmer lunches and dinners, too. Below you'll see their Kale Caesar Salad and Ulu Breadfruit soup. We kept coming back for these dishes after long days at the beach, and they satisfied every time. For the record, breadfruit grows like a fruit on a tree but tastes like a potato or squash and is a cousin of the Mulberry. It is super nutritious and we were told than a single breadfruit tree can produce a ton of fruit and feed a TON of people! (Not like a LITERAL ton. But a lot!) There's a picture of an actual breadfruit tree down by the blue smoothie below. It kind of looks like a jackfruit while growing!
When we arrived at our AirBNB, a Plantation Style Tiny Home, we totally fell in love! Pictured below, it was a super cute guest cottage or 'hale' on a young, local family's small, private farm and orchard. It overlooked the orchard and banana trees, and had a screened in kitchen porch that made cooking up leftovers and farmers markets finds a truly unique experience! It was also super enchanting to hear the rain showers gently pound against the tin roof at night and had my husband asleep even before I was! Inside the place was small but perfect for us for the week. A single room with a large, comfy bed and a small futon, plus some gorgeous vintage furniture inside, and a completely renovated bathroom with some really cool features. Plus, a shower for two!
On our first full day of exploring we made our way across the island to Valley Isle Kombucha. We're not big drinkers but we'll go almost anywhere for good kombucha, and it was really amazing how much of it was on the island. We went to two different kombucha bars (Valley Isle was the best!) and even the general stores in the area had locally-made kombucha on tap. Valley Isle had at least 16 taps of different, fresh kombucha on tap, as well as a case full of bottles and a full lunch menu, too. They also partner with a company called Alchemy Maui that bakes fresh loaves of bread and baguettes right in their kitchen, so you can grab a loaf for the road or take it with you to the beach afterward!
We also fell in love with Coralynn, the server at Valley Isle and a local artist. She gave us so many tips - things to check out and places to go, and we ended up buying one of her gorgeous hand-drawn stickers to take home with us! The locals on the island were all incredibly helpful and friendly, which lent itself even more to the idyllic perception of island life. Nowhere to go fast and time to chat with everyone along the way!
Our second full day we decided to do The Road to Hana, basically an all-day adventure around the outer eastern edge of the island. We downloaded the GyPSy Guide, which is an app that adds historical and locational notes to your drive. It'll tell you where to stop for the best sights along the way the entire way there, and will give you history of the island on the drive back. I'd highly recommend spending the few dollars to download it, it was really fun and useful on the trip, and since most rental car companies don't insure you to drive all FULL Road to Hana all the way around the island, it gives you something fun to listen to on the drive back in the dark.
We started in Paia, heading East. Our first real stop was at The Garden of Eden Arboretum. In the bottom left picture, you can see the pointy rock to the right of the V - that's the rock shown in the opening scene of Jurassic Park! We loved getting out and walking around the lush gardens, enjoying the tropical flora and fauna, and checking out the waterfalls and 100-year old mango tree inside the park! Worth the visit for sure. Especially if you like birds - tons of them, including peacocks everywhere! A small admission fee, very much worth the stop if you take the trip - though I don't recommend wearing nice shoes. I forgot my extra flip flops the first day and totally destroyed my favorite fancy sandals. Whoops!
I won't tell you about every stop we made on the Road to Hana - we'd be here all day! But I recommend stopping often and eating often, too. There was SO much good food, but THE BEST BANANA BREAD ON THE DRIVE (this part is important - can you tell?) is at Aunt Sandy's along the Keanae Peninsula. Trust me. Buy at least 3 mini loaves for the day, you will not regret it! We saw painted eucalyptus trees, black sand beaches, and a million farmstands. We bought and ate local lilikoi and sugarcane, banana bread, and local kombucha and took selfies in front of waterfalls and fell even more in love.
We stopped at Coconut Glen's on the way up after many suggestions and had the BEST vegan ice cream I've ever eaten. We tried the coconut and lemongrass ginger flavors, which both had chunks of real coconut meat mashed inside. Literally could eat it for every meal ever - the perfect blend of sweet and fat and creamy. It was a perfect day.
We ended up checking out a ton of beaches, but the best for snorkeling and beach hanging while we were there seemed to be on the south side of the island, toward Wailea-Makena. We ended up returning here a couple times to hang and swim in calmer waters away from the resorts. At Big Beach there were waves so high and so powerful - shore pounders - that lifeguards weren't allowing people to swim, and one beach over at Little Beach we stumbled upon a nude beach! It was a fun, if unplanned, surprise and definitely a memorable one. At first I was intrigued, but after realizing the beaches occupants were almost entirely men, I was less enthused. This ended up being one of the places we also saw a TON of sea turtles swimming one afternoon in the rock outcroppings off the beach. Super cool!
We visited Lahaina and spent a morning and early afternoon walking around checking out the beach city, but if I'm being honest, this was one place I definitely only needed to see once. It was super touristy and felt kind of fabricated - I prefer to hang like a local when I travel and all of Lahaina felt like a tourist trap. Also, it was just down the street was a ton of huge resorts and the contrast of seeing how locals are forced to live in poverty next door to these huge tourist draws was more sad and reflection of the financial struggles really facing the island. BUT, we did meet a really cute little hippie kid selling vegan, gluten-free, marijuana-infused banana bread...and we definitely bought some and enjoyed a hazy afternoon on the beach.
Some of the best things we ate, besides all the fresh local lilikoi, mango, starfruit, dragonfruit, guava and papaya - were macadamia nut chocolate chip pancakes (pictured above!), fresh mahi mahi, and basically any combo from Ululani's Shaved Ice, but especially the Paia location which ALSO carried Coconut Glen's vegan ice cream. My go-to order (we got it 5 times in 4 days - no joke) was CG's original coconut ice cream covered in lilikoi, strawberry, and guava shaved ice and topped with house made mochi. I am literally drooling just thinking about it! We also fell in love with a local coconut kefir that we found at the local health food store, Mana Foods (also pictured below), that we would come home each night and top with local lilikoi and take to munch in bed.
Since we were in Maui celebrating our 9 year dating anniversary and 1 year wedding anniversary, we decided to treat ourselves to a reservation at the fanciest restaurant on the island - Mama's Fish House! We got all gussied up and and headed to the loveliest dinner. Did it cost us a couple hundred dollars? Maybe yes. Was it worth every penny as we looked over the over eating some of the best food ever, more in love than ever? YOU BETCHA! An expensive dinner out, but VERY worth it if you can make room for it on your itinerary. Heads up - reservations go fast! We made ours 6 months in advance.
We loved finding tiny, locally owned places like Brekkie Bowls to eat at all week long. We like supporting local economy whenever possible, and frankly - the locals have the best recs for snorkeling, finding sea turtles, and sharing secret sunset spots! I also loved how accessible fruit, smoothies, acai bowls, and juice was on the island. My digestion was high functioning and I felt great all week long - which is NOT always the case when I'm traveling!
One of the definite highlights of out trip was snorkeling at Molokini, the horseshoe shaped crater off the coast that boats calm water, tons of beautiful fish, and sometimes even seat turtles! We didn't see any turtles but we had a blast boating out, snorkeling together, and filming underwater with the GoPro. We saw tons of beautiful, brightly colored fish and coral reef, and had a great time with the crew on the boat. We were out from about 7 am to 2 pm and chose to sail with The Four Winds. Highly recommend their outing, they let us hang out way longer than all of the other tourist-filled boats and they prepped a great lunch with a veggie burger option! We saw tons of dolphins on the way back too, some even swimming alongside out boat for over 20 minutes. Super cool!
I loved that we were able to hit the island's big Saturday Upcountry Farmers Market. It was full of local vendors selling unique and delicious specialties, and we feasted on a local eggs, probiotic coconut yogurt, tons of tropical fruit and of course - fresh coconuts! The market had something for everyone, and there was no shortage of vegan and vegetarian options, which was pretty cool to see in such a small place. We made friends with some locals and ended up bringing some local raw honey and bread back on the plane home a few days later!
We searched high and low for turtles while we were there and I don't know if was the time of year or just our luck but we barely found any. We FINALLY stumbled - literally I thought it was a rock until we got pretty close - upon a giant sea turtle at Tavares Bay, and hung out watching him for awhile. Like I mentioned earlier we also saw some near Makena Bay, but other than that - not a one!
Also if you have time, get over to Bamboo Forest Hike that leads to Pipiwai Waterfall - it was easy and a fun way to spend a couple hours after a heavy lunch and was super photograph-friendly.
One day ended up being SUPER rainy (it's Hawaii so daily rain is expected but this day was SUPER wet) so we decided to ditch our hiking plans and booked an afternoon at North Shore Zipline, which happened to be literally a half mile from our AirBNB. We had a damn blast! I expected it to be a little cheesy or lame but honestly the guys that worked there went above and beyond to make sure everyone had fun, and I would go again if I had the chance. Also - the photos at the end didn't suck like most places that try to sell you photos, so we actually bought them. Worth it! They gave us like 30 pictures for $30. Again - not normally a sucker for that stuff, but it was SUCH a fun outing and they really made it worth every penny. Check them out if you're in the area - we had a kid as young as 6 in our group so it's definitely family friendly!
The next day ended up being FAR nicer outside, so we packed a day bag and drove to Kula, basically where all the lush farmland lives at the center of the island. We found a super cute pumpkin patch flooded wit families and overlooking the ocean and stopped to take pictures and enjoy literally the most beautiful and scenic pumpkin patch maybe ever. It was incredibly gorgeous, and after we continued into Kula to the Ulapalakua Ranch Store, full of fun kitsch and really great locally raised, grass-fed burgers. Driving through Kula and all of the pasture and free roaming cows (literally no fences - drive carefully through here as they sometimes travel through the roadway to get to another pasture!) was a little bit like being home in Maine - if Maine started suddenly taking on a jungle climate.
That last afternoon we made the loooong (2-3 hours) drive from Kula to Haleakala National Park to see the sun set over the Haleakala Crater. It was SO incredibly worth it. It was a super cool, winding, beautiful drive up to the top, and then we parked and hiked the last mile or so to the very top. The place was crowded, but there was plenty of room to hunker down and watch the sun go down. We were ill-prepared clothing wise, both in shorts after a long day at the beach, but it was worth every shivering second to see what looked like literal heaven play out in front of us. Make the trip, but bundle up first. The drive down will take a little longer than you'd expect because of all the other people also departing as soon as the sun drops, so reward yourself with an extra trip to Ululani's on your way home!
We loved Maui SO much and can't wait to go back and take advantage of the chill vibes, beautiful views, and delicious food! If you're considering going, check out my rec's below as well as all the one's mentioned above, they're an easy copy and paste into your phone before you go so you can reference place as you drive around. And when you go - LET ME KNOW so I can live vicariously through you and your vacation. 😉
Food places we tried and loved: Choice Health Bar, Valley Isle Kombucha, Tin Roof for super traditional Hawaiian cuisine, A'a Roots, Paia Bowls, Brekkie Bowls, Mana Foods, Flatbread Company, Paia Fish House, Joy's Cafe in Kihei, Maui Kombucha Bar, Choice Health Bar, Aunt Sandy's along the Keanae Peninsula, Mama's Fish House, Farmacy, Paia Inn Brunch, Mokuroots, Ululani's Shaved Ice, Coconut Glen's, Ulapalakua Ranch Store, and the Upcountry Farmer's Market.
Places to See + Things to Check out: EVERYTHING! But specifically - Sea Turtles at Tavares Bay, Turtle Beach, Makawao Forest Hike, Bamboo Forest Hike to Pipiwai Waterfall, Lao Valley, Waihee Ridge Trail Hike, Paia, Poli Poli, Haleakala Crater + National Park for sunrise or sunset (sunrise requires a planned ahead permit), Kaupo Drive (the long way back from Road to Hana - only if you've got a jeep), Red + Black Sand Beaches, Maleaka Beach, Ulua Beach, Ahihi Kinau Natural Reserve, North Shore Zipline, Kula Country Farms, Little Beach (NUDE beach!), Upcountry Farmer's Market, snorkeling Molokini, Lahaina, Road to Hana (download the GyPSy App!).
5 APPS I LOVE USING TO EDIT MY INSTAGRAM POSTS + STORIES!
I get SO many questions from you guys on what apps I like to use and utilize to edit my Instagram feed. It's super flattering and definitely no secret, so I wanted to craft a little post today on what apps specifically I like to use to edit my photos and stories before I post! I'm not much of a post-scheduler, so I often edit my photos in real time on my phone or on my computer right before I decide to post, and then just post whenever I find time or feel inspired. I think that's how I keep my feed most authentic - not a ton of pre-planning, and just enough cleaning up of the photos that they're still enjoyable to look at and cohesive within the feed. Anyway - would love to hear what you babes think! Have you tried these apps? Are you sitting on some hidden gems I should be using? Let me know in the comments below. Otherwise let's talk editing, friends!
If you're wondering how most people get that cohesive, similar vibes look on all their photos - chances are they're using Lightroom. I know I am! Part of the Adobe suite, you can use Lightroom on a computer or through a phone app and it is the fastest way to make your photos look more professional. You can edit all facets of a photos light, color, shade, temp, ect - plus create your own filters and presets so you can consistently get the same edited feel on all your photos. I have created a few of my own presets that I like to use to keep things looking clean and similar, so often times I'll start by slapping one of my presets on the photo and then editing whatever else needs it from there!
An oldie but a goodie - almost a must-have-y. VSCO is easily the best go-to photo editor on your phone. Laden with editable presets and filters, with more styles always available for purchase in the store, this app allows you to not only edit but store and share with the world if you so choose. Before I really went for a super consistent look on my feed and started running everything through LR, I used VSCO pretty exclusively. It works great and there's a filter style for everyone's aesthetic, plus you can save your presets for super easy future editing. I feel like VSCO if great for enhancing colors and specific attributes of a photo. My husband basically only uses VSCO when he does any editing - so you know it's easy and quick!
Look I'm really not much of a retoucher, and never on a photo of myself - but sometimes you need a little extra help! In the photo above I specifically used it to edit some cracks out of the wall behind the bars and also edit out a couple darker spots on the wall to prevent from describing. It's super handy! If you are into some subtle retouching, I'm a big fan. It's super easy to use, easy to edit, and even easier to recommend - seriously, the best quick-fix photo editor around AND a cheap download!
The Unfold app has quickly become one of my favorite story and layout editors for instagram. It costs like 99¢ to download and has optional in-app purchases for different styles of frames and layouts. It makes organizing and theming your instagram stories super easy and really fun to do. There are tons of frames and ways to add text and revise your photos and videos within the app. I love using it to highlight specific shots or to bring extra attention to a slide and I ALWAYS get DM's asking how I made it happen. Highly recommend!
5. Huji Cam
HOW FUN IS THIS APP?! It makes all your photos look like they were processed through an old snap and shoot film camera with the colors, light effects and dates of the photos along the sides. Its a total 90's throwback and I LOVE it! Since I try to keep my feed pretty consistent in color and photo type, I usually just use these edits to spice up my stories. Loving it though - especially for a cute retro photoshoot!
3 EASY, PLANT-BASED DONUT RECIPES FOR NAT'L DONUT DAY!
It's official guys - I missed National Donut Day yesterday. Whoops! This week had been so busy, it flew right by me yesterday until late last night as I was scrolling through instagram and realizing a real, round, dole-shaped pattern. And that's when I realized! Now I'm home, late on a Friday night while my husband works, whipping up a batch of baked donuts topped in a sweet, simple glaze so we can celebrate. Because let's be honest - I'll use any excuse to whip up a batch of donuts, but this day makes it a must! Since it's the weekend, it's almost a better time to make donut. You can sleep in, whip up the batter, bake while you face mask and catch up on Netflix, then munch on fresh baked donuts for the rest of the afternoon! That's basically my perfect Saturday, guys. Scroll down for the recipes - and let me know how you plan to spend you Nat'l Donut Day re-do tomorrow. I may just have to make another batch of donuts...🍩 P.S. The beautiful donuts above are from our wedding - read more about that here and here!
Kettle Corn Donuts
We adjusted our typical donut cake base to make a richer, brown sugar-sweetened donut, slathered it in rich butter glaze (yup, BUTTER GLAZE GUYS. I'm not messing around here.), and topped it with perfectly crunchy kettle corn. The kettle corn's combination of sweet and salty flavors was the inspiration for the whole combination. The sweet cake base slathered in thick, creamy butter glaze might be almost too rich without the addition of the popcorn, but with it becomes the perfect combo and sweet and salty! They're super rich and delicious, which makes them perfect for sharing. Double the batch for a fun treat to share with friends or serve at a brunch, or make a single batch all for yourself! I would never judge when it comes to donut consumption. If you're looking for a creative new donut flavor, or just another excuse to squeeze a few more donuts into your day, these are definitely for you.
Baked Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
Just because Halloween is over doesn't mean the pumpkin has to go away! These pumpkin donuts have a ton of flavor - and that's before they're rolled in cinnamon sugar. They literally are SO EASY to make that I thought I must be doing it wrong. From start to finish this was maybe a half-hour project, and I was so happy with how they came out! They so remind me of getting fresh donuts at apple farms when I was a little girl. Simple and SO GOOD! These are the kind of donuts that give you street cred for being such a great cook. And you'll be like "Oh these easy things? I whipped these up lickety split!" and feel like a badass.
Blood Orange Glazed Donuts
Sometimes I'm more of a glaze person than a sugared person, so I whipped up this batch of healthier baked donuts and covered them in sweet, seasonal blood orange glaze and OH, guys! The blood oranges gave the glaze a really lovely pink color and a light citrus taste that is next level when paired with the light cakes texture of the donut itself. Plus, the added flax means you can have two (or three...) instead of just one, because flax makes everything healthier, right? Seriously, these donuts come together from start to finish in about a half an hour and save pretty well for next day consumption, too. Let's bake, babes!
Curious about Crystals?
I discovered this podcast on the featured section of the browse page of Apple Podcasts and I'm so glad I am! I already loved Dax Shepard (Where my Without A Paddle fans at?!) and knew I'd love listening to him chat with other celebrities - usually his friends - for about an hour. Only 8 episodes in and Dax has been joined in his attic recording space by heavyweights from his wife Kristen Bell to Ashton Kutcher, Adam Scott and Ellen Degeneres - and I've never gotten bored with an episode. He starts with a few basic questions, but the interviews often end up revealing far more interesting tidbits about Dax's guests and his relationships with them. Check it out here!
I've been listening to this podcast since the every first episode premiered and I was immediately hooked. Led by two sassy, clever, LA-based comedians that I feel like I relate very much to, these podcasts have turned from once weekly, hour long murder recaps to twice weekly releases including an entire episode always dedicated to the reading of fan mail and 'hometown murders' - which I promise is funnier than it sounds. I even saw the MFM girls live for my birthday last year in September in San Diego. They did not disappoint. If you plan to listen, do yourself a favor and start at the beginning. Otherwise you're going to miss quite a few inside jokes and a remarkable amount of spot-on commentary on what it's like to live in LA. Listen here!
If you're a wannabe entrepreneur looking for some serious motivation or a hustler looking for tips and tricks from some of the biggest business owners in the world - you've come to the right podcast. Guy Raz is a great host (you may recognize him from several other NPR shows) and he has a pretty diverse range of entrepreneurs from direct backgrounds, fields, and specialties on every show. I plowed through most of the episodes in one long work weekend in San Fransisco and haven't lost interest yet. The show focuses on interviews with the entrepreneurs, bringing up their challenges and how they overcame them to build their businesses, as well as giving advice and solutions to common problems that come up. SO motivating, especially if you've ever dreamed of owning (or currently own!) your own business. Big fan! Check it out here.
These guys are just a damn riot! From start to finish, their witty banter and well-done imitations will keep you interested. Each week they come together and discuss a person or event in history, one of which is totally uneducated on the subject they're discussing. They're clever comedians and they play really well off of each other, plus they've now started taking their podcast all over the world to record, and recently spent a few episodes in Australia. I feel like I am doing a disservice trying to explain their hilarity together - go listen and you'll be an instant fan, too!
If you're a sound nerd like me, you spend more time than the average bear paying attention to inconsequential sounds and beeps, wondering why put them there and why. There are constant noises from our technology, cars, and people - and we rarely stop to think about the sounds manufactured right into our land- and living-scapes. This podcast covers them all - in a super interesting, behind the scenes kind-of-way! Dallas explains the sounds being everything from the ding of a starting computer to the lyrics and matching music behind the broadway hit Hamilton. Give it a listen here!
This podcasts quickly become one of my favorite and is currently one the podcasts I look forward to listening to each week. The duo breaks down some kind of internet mystery each episode, and started adding the weirdly entertaining 'yes yes no' segment more recently to the ends of their episodes. They explore everything from a deep dive into the Russian passenger who stole and continued to use one of the hosts Uber info to those 'FREE WATCH!' ads you see on social media and where they lead to a bitcoin breakdown. It's a surprisingly interesting, well researched show about the internet and how we use it and I am totally hooked. Find it here!
Criminal is a unique crime podcast. Instead of rehashing the post popular murders and cold cases ( I love those, too), Criminal focuses more on unique type of crime - something more complex. These are well told stories of people who have done wrong, been wronged or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. Each episode blurs from black and white into the gray area of most crimes - where maybe everyone's a little guilty and nobody's totally innocent. This is a smart, shorter podcast - great for 20 minute drives back and forth to the grocery store. The same host just started a second podcast in a very similar format, "This is Love", that I also really enjoy. Listen here, friends!
This show has been on for literal years and maybe was one of the first shows doing this whole podcast thing pretty regularly and concisely. I love Roman Mar's voice and energy, and could listen to this podcast all day - except that I've listened to literally EVERY SINGLE EPISODE so now I just wait for new releases weekly. This podcast is based on design in our lives, in the places we've stopped noticing. They explore the power and process of design and architecture, and how in innately affects our lives. Hidden staircases built into downtown LA, the history of the city of Fordlandia, and hero props in movies - they cover topics you didn't know were coverable, and keep them interesting, intriguing, and worthy of chatting about for an hour. Check it out!
This podcast is kind of just a fun one. Flora is a sweet, endearing host who covers - quite literally - every little thing readers have questions about. Generally science based, ELT is essentially a factual answering service. Each week they take calls from reader and do the actual research to break down and answer what the reader's question was in the first place. Some recent questions asked and answered include 'Do dogs have belly buttons?', "How old is Winnie the Pooh?', and 'What would happen to your body in space?' and while they sounds answerable on your own, I promise it's worth following Flora on the twist and turns she takes to get to her answers. Tune in!
I discovered this show on a podcast browse sesh and immediately knew I'b wanna tune in. First - I'm admittedly a total Real Housewives of BH / OC fan. What can I say - I live here! Its fun to watch the women traipse all over cities that I now know pretty well myself. Also - DRAMA! Need I say more?! If you haven't seen the spoof spinoff, Hotwives of Las Vegas (and Orlando!) - make it a priority. Written by Daniele Schneider and starring Casey Wilson, they literally nail the whole Housewives vibe in a very funny, 30 minute show. Which makes them the perfect people to co-host this podcast, where they recap weekly episodes and upcoming Housewives drama and rumors. It's like having an after show in your living room with your two snarkiest gal pals and bottle of wine. They're witty, funny, and make watching the show that much more enjoyable! Find them here.
Daiya'S Newest Plant-Based Products!
Since I was stuck in my booth most of the weekend, I made it a point to connect with some of my favorite brands when I had time - and Daiya was one of the brands I was most excited to check out. They make comfy, crave-able, totally vegan foods that are also free of dairy, gluten and soy! Now found in over 25,000 grocery stores over the US and Canada, they are leading the charge is making dairy-free cheese accessible to everyone. And I LOVE that! This year they're introducing a bunch of new products that I am super stoked to share with you guys - there's literally something for everyone! A Meatless Meat Lover's Pizza with vegan sausage and pepperoni, Yogurt Duets - creamy yogurts with lids full of sweet and crunchy toppings, Savory Burritos (in four flavors!), plus a few extra goodies I didn't expect to see including cheese sticks and new frozen desserts!
Meatless Meat Lover’s Pizza
The first-ever plant-based meat lover’s pizza, Daiya Meatless Meat Lover’s Pizza is a better-for-you, dairy-free pizza crafted with meatless sausage and pepperoni, Daiya’s signature melty shredded cheeze, and zesty sauce atop a newly improved artisan gluten-free crust! Unlike its traditional counterpart, Daiya Meatless Meat Lover’s Pizza is entirely plant-based and free of dairy, gluten and soy, making it a swapworthy alternative for those with dietary restrictions or looking to live a healthier lifestyle. Plus it tastes SUPER good - a little spicy and crunchy, it's the perfect Friday night-in dinner alongside a movie! Perfect with kombucha or a glass of wine.
Daiya Duets are the perfect combination of creamy and crunchy, each containing 5-6 grams of plant-based protein per serving. The clever duel packaging keeps the toppings crisp until joined with the velvety coconut cream yogurt, which only enhances your yogurt-eating experience. Duets come in flavors including Chocolate Coconut, Key Lime Crumble, Cranberry Harvest, and Salted Caramel Crunch. YUM!
Daiya just added savory burritos to its line of plant-based comfort foods, each packing a hearty 8 grams of protein and perfect for late-night snacking, on-the-go lunches or to simply satisfy a burrito craving! The new Daiya Burritos are free of dairy, gluten and soy and come in four varieties: Traditional, Tuscan, Chipotle, and Aztec. I LOVED the flavors in the spicy Santa Fe, but also tried the white bean-filled Tex Mex at the show and it was really great, too. These will definitely be a product we keep the freezer stocked with!
The are going to be a MAJOR hit with all the Mom's out there! These portable, lunch-friendly snacking sticks are great for kiddos who are dairy-intolerant, allergic, or simply need to eat more plant-based foods. They're an easy swap that taste so good, kids won't miss the old stuff. And they're available in two flavors - mozzarella and cheddar!
Pretty sure these are also going to be available in 4 flavors! I tried the chocolate coated vanilla bar, but also saw chocolate and expresso ice cream versions with fudge crunch coating on the outside. UPDATE! The official flavors are as follows:
-Chocolate Fudge Crunch—This decadent chocolate dessert bar with a deep fudgy swirl is dipped in rich fair trade dark chocolate and finished with crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds.
-Classic Vanilla Bean— Rich and creamy, this classic vanilla dessert bar is dipped in rich fair trade dark chocolate and finished to perfection with a semisweet chocolate drizzle.
-Salted Caramel Swirl—Rich and velvety smooth, this vanilla dessert bar is swirled with a salted caramel ribbon throughout and dipped in semisweet chocolate and finished with a dark chocolate drizzle.
-Espresso Coffee—Bold and smooth Arabica coffee is blended in a dessert bar, and dipped in rich and velvety fair trade dark chocolate.
These seemed to be the hit around the time I got there, late afternoon after the lunch rush. The perfect dessert - everyone around me agreed! Sweet, satisfying, and dairy-free. Basically a dream!
For more information about Daiya, please visit www.daiyafoods.com, become a fan on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the release of these awesome new products! And please do let me know when you start seeing them in stores - its always nice to know where they start popping up so I can find them for myself. I found the Meatless Meat Lover's Pizza this very morning in our local Sprouts Market! Keep an eye open this weekend for a post of our other favorite finds from Expo West this year, and make sure to look back on our fave products from 2015 + 2016, too!
Wellness Festival: THE GOOD FEST
The afternoon was split up into 5 different tracks, so depending on which track you picked, you had a customized day of panels, group activities, and female-led session. I picked Track 4, which included the following sessions throughout the day:
Session 1 - Food Freedom Panel with Jordan Younger, Talia Pollack, Jess Sepel and more
Session 2 - How to Have GOOD Sex with Shan Boodram
Session 3 - YOGA: Jordan Younger + Sophie Jaffe
Session 4 - Modern Approach to Ayurveda with Sahara Rose
We arrived around 10 am and didn't leave until about 6, so it was definitely a full day. Each activity lasted about an hour, plus some time for lunch, shopping at the wellness marketplace inside the festival, and talks from a few different closeout speakers. Pictured below are the iced turmeric lattes from the meet and greet brunch in the morning, a shot of Jordan Younger from our yoga session, a lil' selfie action and a shot of the food panel I attended, as well.
My second session was the Food Freedom Panel with Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde, Lynn Chen of The Actor's Diet, Jessica Sepel of JS Health, August Vega - the founder of Malk, and Talia Pollack of Party in my Plants. Talia and I are pals so I was especially excited to see her onstage and squeeze her afterward, and I have followed Jordan forever, so I was super stoked to meet her and tell her how great she is. She was just as grounded in real life as you'd hope, and the food panel was super interesting. Each lady talked about what Food Freedom meant to them, along with some of their stories on getting a healthy, happy place with food.
Next up, and in the same big, beautiful main room, was the How to have GOOD Sex with Sexologist Shan Boodram session. And it was FANTASTIC! Her energy and straight up real knowledge dropping was both impressive and entertaining to watch. She talk about a few different topics but essentially encouraging your partner to do what you like and need with real, open conversation. She was rad. So was her outfit, haha.
After that was my third session, Yoga taught by Jordan Younger and Sophie Jaffe. I was super excited to do some yoga and take it from people I really admired. I sat in the back of the room and mostly enjoyed it, though Sophie was sick so her section seemed a little short. Fair enough! It lasted about 30 minutes, and then we headed into the next session, which was also my last: Modern Approach to Ayurveda with Sahara Rose. I have had very little introduction to ayurveda but have been interested in learning more for awhile, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much info Sahara was able to cram into our short session. I felt like I walked away with a great into on the breakdown of basic ayurveda and a desire to learn much more.
After our final session, we headed back downstairs for a catered lunch from Sweet Green (YUM!) and then back to the main hall for the final speakers. It was a fantastic day - seriously full of so much fun, health and wellness, and I met so many babes I've only had the pleasure of interacting with on IG. If you're interested in checking out their upcoming events, including the next GOOD Fest in Philly, check out their website and follow them on IG for the DL on upcoming events! I'll definitely be attending again next year - I had a dang blast and met so many new, fun, incredible women! See you then, babes.
2013 Holiday Wish List
2015 Holiday Wish List
Cinco De Mayo
Fitness & Workouts
Food As Medicine
Homestyle Vegan Cookbook
Our Wedding Video
Products We Love
Real Good Podcast
Recipe Round Up
The GOOD Fest
The Maine Move