California was one big road trip for me starting in Los Angeles to Palm Springs for Coachella with stops in Pioneer Town and Joshua Tree, two must-dos if you’re in the Palm Springs area before taking a tour of Orange County. I’m not a light packer when it comes to music festivals and being on the road for three weeks didn’t help… that, coupled with James’ stuff, a compact car was unrealistic.

Fortunately we partnered with Volvo to try out the 2017 Volvo XC60, which we basically lived out of. We had the T6 AWD Inscription trim – it drove like a dream, so much that at one point I looked down at the speedometer and found myself pushing 90, when I felt like I was going maybe 60. It’s incredible how quiet it is, smooth and solid feeling no matter what speed you’re going.

It was one of the most comfortable rides through Joshua Tree and the timing could not have been better. With all the rain they’ve been experiencing there were wild flowers blooming that hadn’t budded in decades. With so many colors, it was beautiful! We stopped to climb the rocks, walk some trails, stroll through the cactus garden, and even met a snake along the way. Enjoy the drive with us in the video above, More on the car and photo gallery below!

For the past few years I’ve seen non-stop incredible photos of Iceland 0n my Instagram feed — images of the Northern Lights, Blue Lagoon, the Icelandic horses, and so many natural wonders that I knew I had to go. I felt overwhelmed though trying to figuring out what to book. With just a plane ticket (booking was the first step!), I started reading articles, reviews and asking advice of friends so here is the quick and easy guide to what I did, and what’s on my radar for next time.

WHERE TO STAY: Downtown Reykjavik, Room with a View

There are loads of hotels all over Iceland but if you’re limited on time, downtown Reykjavik is ideal. All of the tours pick up from there and it’s a really cute scene, filled boutiques, restaurants, popular attractions and life. We stayed at Room with View Luxury Apartments, which was the most ideal location. In fact if you’re looking at other hotels see how close it is to this one since it doesn’t get anymore prime and right. Although dubbed an apartment, it’s more of an upscale hotel suite complete with a kitchen, doorman and helpful staff to accommodate any bookings. There’s also a steam room and Jacuzzi on the property! We were a party of 4 people and one thing I learned is two double beds in a hotel basically doesn’t exist. This was the only hotel I found that could accommodate us in one room. I highly recommend emailing them in advance your needs. We ended up with 3 single beds and one double bed in our huge, beautiful, dream apartment with 2 bathrooms suite that was cheaper then booking two rooms somewhere else.

How to Get Around:

Your options are basically, taxi, car rental, bus, ferry or tour buses (more info HERE). I highly recommend renting a car, we used Lagoon Car Rental which was wonderful. They picked us up from the airport and drove us 5 minutes away to the car location and made it all super quick and easy! And also through a wi-fi router we had internet in the car the whole time. Renting a car made the most sense for us since we were a party of 4 and getting to/from the airport to Reykjavik is about a 45 minute drive and pricey, so is the Blue Lagoon (we were quoted $40 each way from Reykjavik, although they have ticket options that include a shuttle). Reykjavik is a very walkable city so we basically used the car for day trips and otherwise found easy street parking and did tours. The tours pickup from hotels in Reykjavik so that part was easy.

We rented a Renault Talisman which had plenty of space in the trunk for all of our stuff. Some people prefer a 4×4 SUV but I found the roads really well paved and since we were doing tours (all listed below) for more of our nature excursions, and the weather was mild, we were more than fine in a regular car. If you are doing more off roading and driving yourself around the country (especially in harsh weather) you may want to consider a 4×4.

WHAT TO DO IN ICELAND:

Blue Lagoon and Thermal Baths

I could not leave Iceland without visiting the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Bath. It’s one of the 25 Wonders of the World and with good reason, it’s incredible! Most people visit on their way to the airport or leaving it since it’s on the route from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik. Pre-booking is required and they also offer massages in the water which is apparently incredible! They have different ticket rates, all of which get you the same access to the Blue Lagoon and access to the mask bar for the Silica Mud Mask — everything but the Standard Ticket also gets you the Algae Mud Mask (you can learn more about the ticket options HERE). Both of these skincare products are two of Blue Lagoons top selling skincare products, and they have a store on site (as well as at the airport and downtown Reykjavik) where you can purchase the whole line. I highly recommend the masks as well as their lip balm — pretty much all of it is incredible and makes for a great gift! There are two restaurants, a cafe and more formal dining option on the property. There is also a bar in the water to purchase drinks.

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Every year I look forward to going to Miami for Art Basel. It’s been nice in NYC as of late but usually by this time it’s freezing and I’m itching for the beach and some warm weather. And Art Basel is the most fun time to visit Miami! There are art shows happening non-stop (not just Art Basel, but Scope, NADA, Pulse and many others), plus so many brands are out throwing parties. And it’s a great meeting point for bloggers across the country, I love seeing everyone in Miami!

I traveled with Kristi from Currently Crushing, Joel from What Do Men Wear and my bad a$$ makeup artist bestie, Jenny Smith. We stayed at the cutest boutique hotel, The Beacon on 7th and Collins, which is a very central part of South Beach.

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We covered a lot of ground in our 5 day trip with so many exciting parties and events. We met so many amazing people and saw incredible art throughout the week. One of my favorite events included a piece of art, I got to take home… my eye! LensCrafters hosted an amazing private brunch at the The Delano hotel to celebrate art and their CLAIFYE Digital Technology — basically it’s an eye exam where they scan your eyes to detect your prescription. No more crazy drops and blurred vision, it’s a total game changer — I did a few months ago (check out my experience HERE). If you’re overdue for an eye exam, definitely read that article before making an appointment. The event also featured artist Jose Vergara, who specializes in drawing eyes, how amazing is the one he did of mine!?!?!

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Style Icon and my dear friend, Patricia Field was out in Miami doing a series of events and fashion shows to promote her ArtFashion initiative. Featuring one of a kind pieces hand painted by some of her top artists on display at the White Dot Gallery, you can view the current collection on her site: patriciafield.com

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Wilmer Valderrama or as I like to call him Fez from That 70s Show! (I also loved him in From Prada to Nada), hosted Men’s Night Out for Macy’s private label, INC at The Oasis at The Raleigh Hotel. Lets just say there were a lot of good looking guys, a trampeline and open bar, which is pretty much the perfect recipe for fun.

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If right about now you need an escape not much tops a stay at the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun. Prior to this trip if you told me Cancun was more than a party city, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Sure, it’s knows for its night scene, but frankly with a resort as beautiful and inviting as the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach, I found little reason to leave. All of the restaurants are exquisite and conveniently in the lobby and offer everything from tequila tastings to evening entertainment — the mariachi band was fabulous. And all I wanted was a relaxing beach vacation with a drink in my hand and this one delivered.

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The resort has jet skis and paddle boards for rent on the property. Their Gem Spa features an hour long 10- step hydrotherapy experience from steam rooms to hot tubs in addition to a full menu of services and indoor infinity pool. On the off chance you have a rainy day it’s the perfect place to settle in. Then there’s the beach. Does anything really top walking out of your hotel and directly onto a clean, beautiful, serene beach? Complete with an outdoor pool and tiki bar. They also have a ton of kid options for a family friendly experience.

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If you’re visiting North Carolina and in the Raleigh Durham area or visiting Duke University, add visiting the Duke Lemur Center to your agenda. It’s open to the public and Duke houses the largest and most diverse collection of lemurs outside of Madagascar. They are a research center first and foremost so there is no holding/touching the lemurs but watching them — especially when they jump or rather glide through the air. Meeting so many different breeds (there are over 80 types in existance) is an unbelievable experience.

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The grounds are beautiful and set in the woods, so it’s a great outdoor activity. The lemurs are by the entrance and there are a number of guided tours available starting at $12. All of the lemurs are gated in so you can watch them from outside and learn about the different species. They also have some nocturnal ones which you go inside a dark room to observe them through the looking glass. black-lemur-blue-eyes-duke-lemur-center

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Photo Credit: Gerald Slevin photography

Last week was a long week. I went from Fashion Week to hosting a charity event on Friday to jumping in my car and driving to Montauk for an awesome, action packed weekend with Clif Bar. Before I get into my awesome weekend (and believe me, it was awesome), my friend Liz asked me a question on Friday I’ve been thinking about all week, “How do I get your energy”.

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In my mind she takes on more than me so I found the question funny. Although I’m asked it often enough that I should have a reasonable answer.  In truth I’ve always thought of myself as leading a double life. I’m very active in the fashion/beauty blogging community and often at events but on my spare time all I want to do is travel and be outside, whether it be hiking, snowboarding or something as simple as going for a walk. My boyfriends even slowly turning me into a camper, which we do often enough that I can probably claim that title. I’m a really active person and it’s not easy with my schedule. I accidentally skip meals all the time but I’m very keen on keeping my energy up since I do need to stay focused.