Road trip rules to swear by

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A cornerstone of Maxim and I's relationship is road trips. And by cornerstone, I mean that they've been markers in big parts of our life and have always held some of our most special memories. 

One of my favorite memories? "Kidnapping" Maxim and taking him on a road trip with no map, no destination in mind. We drove south through skyline drive and kept going until we hit South of the Border. It was late. The tacky neon signs all lit up, but the parking lot empty. The giant gift shops were uncomfortably bright like the hallways of a hospital. But we loved it. We kept driving south, deciding to cut over to the coast and find a hotel. We ended up lost down a dirt road that seemed endless. We lost signal (and therefore Google Maps), and decide to keep driving until we hit a dead end. We eventually popped out right by the coast next to Myrtle Beach — it was the middle of off-season. Deciding this was our destination, we hopped onto Hotel Tonight to find the cheapest room available. 

We spent the next 36 hours playing a tournament of mini-golf, asking locals where to go, what to eat. Upon embarking on our return journey, we continued to find attractions to get lost with. I forced Maxim to turn off for selfies with "The World's Largest Crab," and, feeling peckish, I found a local (but famous), family owned snow cone stand — literally just on the side of a very busy road. We had piña colada cones with bananas. 

It was a fabulous adventure, mostly because it was spontaneous and had no set agenda and focused on us getting lost and exploring places we might not have stopped at otherwise. 

Long story short, over the trips, we've developed a sort of "unspoken rules of the road trip" and totally swear by them. But I want to hear your rules, your stories, too. So scroll down, read, reflect and let me know how your rules differ.


There will always be coffee

I mean, this is pretty self-explanatory. Coffee is life — especially when you're doing full-day road trips. Maxim and I love grabbing the mini chameleon cold brew iced coffees because they're super easy to bring with us wherever we go.  

But hydration is key 

I usually have two or three water bottles plus a BIG bottle of coconut water. 

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Silence is golden (sometimes) 

Early in our relationship, during our first road trip, Maxim and I discussed talking vs. not talking all the time. I felt weird because I just wanted to be silent and read and stare out the window. Don't be silly, he said, that's totally chill. Sometimes, silence is golden. And when I'm in a silent mood and Maxim isn't, I bring along these amazing bluetooth headphones from Sudio Sweden to listen to white noise while Maxim listens to a podcast. 

Be prepared

Maxim and I always have a plastic bag for trash, band-aids, toilet paper + paper towels. But I also use GasBuddy, an app that tells you where gas stations (and other amenities) are near-by. It's awesome, because if we see that there's not going to be a bathroom for a long stretch, we'll make sure to do a bathroom break ASAP. 

Biggest lesson: Always have napkins or paper towels. You never know what's going to happen. 

Comfort rules for any trip over 4 hours

This is definitely more for me and for Maxim. If we have an end destination, I'll bring clothes to change into. Otherwise, I'm usually in running leggings, a tank and a big, comfy hoodie (I just bought this one from KJP and I'm OBSESSED). I always bring layers, socks, a pillow + blanket since you never know. OH — and slides so that you're not fiddling with shoes at gas stations. 

Also: no makeup. It's a big one for me. On long road trips, I just let my face chill for the day and rock some mirrored shades (my current faves). 

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Beware of the hanger

Easily one of the most important road trip rules (for us, at least). I'm one of those people that gets hangry real fast. And when I get hangry, I get picky and judge-y and it's kind of a slippery slope. WHICH IS WHY we always have a big repository (usually my Madewell tote) of snacks that will be good for long hauls. Though you can eat vegan at virtually any gas station, it's always safe to have stuff with you. But we always try to stop for real meals — lettuce-wrapped burgers, quinoa salad with kale, etc.

Some of my faves: 

Shotgun is DJ — unless their playlist sucks

So when there's only two of you in the car, it might kind of hard to decide whether their playlist sucks or not. But still. Make sure everyone is on the same page about music tastes and vibes. The best playlists — in my opinion — is one that can be turned down and be used as background music, but also blasted when a great jam comes on. DJ should be in charge of making sure that music is playing, that the tech around it is working and that music is not interrupted by insta notifications of phone calls (oops). 

When in doubt, get the GPS out

Honestly, though, I swear by using a TomTom or built-in navigational system when on road trips — NOT an iPhone. I'm always busy using my phone for music, making an epic instagram story, texting, snapping selfies, etc. Plus, if you're anything like me, you're terrible at giving directions. Side story: I'm infamous for telling people "go LEFT RIGHT here," leaving the driver bewildered. Or I'll vaguely gesture, Miranda Priestley style, assuming the drivers knows that I mean, "Bear right for half a mile, then turn left at the light." ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

ALWAYS go to the roadside attraction

I mean, isn't it obvious? If you're going on a road trip, the best thing to do is stop at those weird roadside attractions, or the random fruit stand and chat the farmer owner. I always make sure to budget in TONS of time for this — I use two apps when we're on the road too. Roadside America has tons and tons of roadside attractions, their location and rating for how worthy it is. It's like yelp for road trips. And if you're a big planner, check out Roadtrippers. It lets you pre-plan your road trip, download it, share it, use in conjunction with Google Maps, etc. 


So there you have it. Honestly, though. Do you agree? What should we add? Let me know in the comments below 

I tried the new vegan Ben & Jerry's flavors and they're amazing

When I was a kid, Ben & Jerry’s was life. If you put a pint of Phish Phood in the freezer on a Friday, it’d be scrapped out to the very edges of the container come Monday morning. I loved the smell of cookie dough wrapped in frozen dairy that would waft from their store fronts on hot, summer days. 

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But then I went vegan. And I had to give up one of my most favorite things: GOOD ice cream. Yes, I’d tried the vegan versions — Tofutti, Almond Dream, So Bliss. But there was always something off. The ice cream would stay hard just a little bit too long. Or it would contain more ice crystals than frozen cream. I settled for what I thought would be my best options. 

So when Ben & Jerry’s came out to announce that they were taking the plunge into non-dairy ice cream, I jumped for joy. Finally my love for them could be re-kindled. It apparently took them 60 tries and years of R&D to find the perfect combo. In the end, the settled on almond milk for the base because it was "the most neutral" flavor. 

I spent a year courting Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy flavors. I watched from afar to see the reaction. It was positive and I wanted to be a part of it. I remember that it was a hot, hot day and I couldn’t resist the taste of a sweet treat. Maxim and I headed into a Ben & Jerry’s…and there it was…the NON-DAIRY SECTION. They were offering PB & Cookies. I got the kids size. 

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The rest is history. 

I fell in love again with Ben & Jerry’s and always tried to have some in the freezer (just in case). 

BUT it’s 2017, and Ben & Jerry’s stepped it up AGAIN. On Wednesday they debuted THREE NEW vegan flavors: Cherry Garcia, Coconut Seven Layer Bar and Caramel Almond Brittle. I tasted them and they're INCREDIBLE. 

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Cherry Garcia {for the nostalgic + fan favorites} 

This flavor is a classic and a staple in Ben & Jerry's shop. It was debuted in 1987 and has been a top seller ever since. Maxim couldn't believe that it was the vegan version! 

Coconut Seven Layer Bar {ugh yes} 

This might be my favorite of all the seven vegan flavors. It's filled with coconut and you'd swear it's made with coconut milk instead of almond milk. I love the taste of chocolate chunks and caramel mixed in. If you've ever had a multi-layer bar, you'll be in love. 

Caramel Almond Brittle {YAS} 

The best thing about this flavor is the combination of gooey caramel with crunchy, sweet almond brittle. It's also the new fan favorite among taste-testers of Ben & Jerry's. 

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And what better time to celebrate than this weekend? It’s going to be 60s in the DMV + NYC, which means ice cream is always a good idea. No one’s ever regretted a spoonful of the sweet stuff. 

Interested in trying it out? Look for it anywhere that ice cream is sold

breakfast on-the-go: 10-minute chia seed pudding

Mornings are crazy hectic. Like crazy, crazy hectic. 

I work a 9-5, and I carpool downtown with Maxim. We're out the door by 7-7:30, and always forgetting to eat something. Let's be real, we're young + more focused on coffee + finding a clean pair of pants than making sure that we've had breakfast.

PSA: Breakfast is crazy important! Please eat breakfast!

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By the time I'm at the office, I'm HANGRY...and we all know how well that goes over in the first meeting of the day. 

SO, I try to make easy (like so easy you can do it in your sleep) breakfasts to-go the night before so that I can just grab it on the way out the door. 

This, my chia seed pudding recipe, is my fave. And honestly, though, it doesn't even take 10-minutes. It takes maybe 5-minutes if you're a little bit slow pouring in the milk. BUT a little disclaimer first: I'm a s o u l  c o o k e r , which is why I oftentimes am more focused on reviewing other people's food or just posting photos. My measurements are not exact and I add stuff like I'm a witch concocting a potion. 

THAT BEING SAID, I googled ratios that I'll be including below, but PLEASE just experiment yourself. You never know what you'll discover! 


Not-even-10-minute chia seed pudding 

Ingredients: 

  • mason jar or other similar-ish container
  • handful of chia seeds (a 1/3 cup) 
  • healthy pour of non-dairy milk OR a couple tablespoons of non-dairy yogurt. 
    • (think 3:1 ratio of milk to chia) 
  • cinnamon 
  • mashed banana
  • coconut chips 
  • oats or hot cereal (my fave is from iheartkeenwah) 

Directions: 

  • Fill half a mason jar with milk/yogurt
  • Add chia seeds, some {healthy} shakes on cinnamon. Put top on jar and SHAKE. 
  • Open jar, add 2-3 tablespoons of hot cereal or oats. 
  • Add mashed banana, coconut chips. 
    • side note: my favorite thing about adding coconut chips is that they're soft(er)when you end up eating this and sweetens up the entire breakfast! 
  • Put top back on jar and SHAKE! 
  • Put in fridge overnight or for a few hours. 
  • ENJOY! 

Yes. It's literally that simple. You can experiment with different flavors, toppings, etc! 

My {other} fave chia pudding combinations: 

  • Vega protein powder + banana + oats 
  • Almond butter + cubed apple slices + cinnamon 
  • Frozen berries + shaved coconut {omg yas} 
  • Sliced pineapple + shaved cooconut + oats 
  • Frozen berries + cinnamon  

The possibilities are  E N D L E S S , you beautiful people! Give it a try and let me know below how it goes! 

things i'm loving {december 2016 edition}

I feel like the day after thanksgiving is TECHNICALLY December. Even though it's not, it should be. Besides the insanity that is Black Friday shopping (count me out, I'll shop from my bed and a homemade coffee, thank you), everyone is already in a holiday mood. So for me, day after thanksgiving? December. 

And no matter what holiday you celebrate or don't celebrate, there is an atmosphere that is so...pepperminty? 

In my apartment, Maxim and I agreed not to put a tree up until after thanksgiving. We put it up on Black Friday after chilling at home for the entire day while devouring leftovers and watching Westworld. Hint: If you haven't gotten into Westworld, you're binging TV wrong. Honestly, though. 

And with that, let's get into what I'm loving for the month of December! Are you loving what I'm loving? Let me know in the comments below! 

bloggers I'm loving

Glass of Glam // Meet Roxanne. She's just casually a trial attorney, glam + fashion blogger, and all around badass. PLUS, she's petite and gives great advice on how to dress for your proportions — currently obsessing over this post

Blazers and Bubbly // Literally one of the sweetest (and most gorgeous) women I've ever met! Julie of Blazers and Bubbly blogs about girly things like mermaid blankets + barbie print skirts. Her style is crazy cute and perfect for all the girly girls in your life! 

 

what I'm eating

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GrazeBox // So I knowwwww what you guys are thinking: I am so late to the game. I get it. But I discovered the individual graze boxes on a recent trip back to England and totally fell in love. Like honestly, though, it's really hard to find vegan snacks that are as varietal as Graze! I get their 8-portion snack box every other week and it's a GAME CHANGER in the office for days when I'm in meetings back-to-back...or when I forget to eat all day. Want your

what I'm drinking

VineBox // Basically every wine box subscription is wine by the bottle. And if you're young + broke like me, you're probs not going for the most expensive bottle out there. BUT, if you're actually interested in good wine, this box is for you. VineBox lets you taste expensive + rare wines BY THE GLASS, so you can experience what a vintage 2005 Merlot tastes like with a good cheese + crackers board. Every box comes paired food suggestions, tasting notes + music suggestions. 

It makes a perfect last-minute gift too. Pair it with a bottle of cheap af champs and you're good to go. 

what I'm wearing

Photo by  Kenan Ergvn

Photo by Kenan Ergvn

Whistle + Wild // ICYMI: Whistle & Wild is an amazing online boutique started by local, Amanda Nelson. She just launched in the fall and has already had wild, wild success. BEWARE: Her picks sell out fast and some (like this Huntress Top, above) are completely extinct now. Check her insta daily for hints about what's dropping next. 

PinkieSwear Necklaces // If you've been on my Instagram AT ALL lately, you know that I'm hooked on PinkieSwear. They, too, are an online boutique. But they only offer accessories that are "affordable yet fashionable." Honestly, though, I was nervous when I first received their necklaces because I didn't know if they were going to look/feel cheap. BUT They didn't. I've gotten so, so many compliments since I've started wearing them and they're now my go-to spot! (p.s. Shop fast because my fave pieces by them are almost all sold out)

what i'm using

E.L.F.'s new hydrating bubble mask // Winter is no longer coming. Winter is here and with winter comes dry skin, flaking and pore that overproduce oil (gross). But, I've found the solution: E.l.f. Everybody knows this brand for their wilding inexpensive products + now fully vegan mission for makeup + brushes. But I love using this mask in the morning to lock in good moisture during my commute on the metro + to combat against the craziness of a busy work day. { DYK: E.l.f. is now a 100% plant-based + cruelty-free brand }

where I'm going

Sechoir Beatuy Bar // So a few weeks ago, I went to Sechoir Beauty Bar and saw Walid, their head colorist + stylist. My hair had kind of been in a funk since a year ago when I had some awful balayge done. Now, my hair was flat + kind of damaged + had weird bits of grown out yellow. Insert Walid. He literally changed my hair in every way. He added depth and color to my hair and made sure that every step was something that I was comfortable with. AND when I suggested something that might not look good on me, he let me know (aka saving me from my hair-dyslexic self). If you go, mention Honestly, Though + ask for Walid. And then get your FACE threaded. I'll be here when you realize this was the best recommendation ever. Read more about my obsession here. 

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Every place that serves ramen in the DMV // So this has been a long time coming, but I'm working on a ramen round up of the Washington, D.C. area. It'll be updated as time goes on, but you can start to check it out here. 

Thank you to Influenster + E.l.f. for sponsoring this post!