Filed In: LIFESTYLE

ALASKAN PHOTO DIARY

 

Raise your hand – or fluke – if you’ve been to Alaska. Now raise your hand if you hated it. (I guarantee no one is raising their hand because it’s impossible!) I’ve never been to a place on earth that more people in agreement over. Seriously. Everybody loves Alaska – myself now being included.

My parents and Tommy and I just embarked on a week long cruise through Alaska and it truly was the trip of a lifetime. I have never in my life seen a place so naturally stunning that it’s actually difficult to comprehend.

Now. I’ve always been honest about the fact that I’m not one for venturing too far out of city limits – the great outdoors is not exactly within my comfort zone. I’m not a camper, not even a glamper for that matter, but I knew Alaska was just one of those places in the world I needed to see. IRL.

Sure we saw a lot of the Alaskan great outdoors by way of a fancy boat – Silversea Cruises to be exact – but give me some credit, I am taking baby steps here! But thanks to said fancy boat, we were able to visit 5 cities within one week on our journey – Anchorage, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan. Each city offered something new and had its own unique charm, and I am grateful to have seen so much. I’ll have to come back for a moose sighting as well as a Northern Lights show, but I figure those are both great excuses to do so.

Here’s a little of what we saw along our journey through the great Alaskan territory:

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CHEERS TO 5 YEARS MY DEAREST FRIENDS.

 

Well friends, it’s official. Love & Loathing Los Angeles is FIVE years old. I cant even type one freakin sentence without feeling a bit emotional.

I remember the day I called my mom, so excited to tell her I was going to write a book about life in Los Angeles. I was overjoyed that I’d finally figured out how to use my time wisely while I was in between jobs and trying to figure out who the hell I was and what the hell I wanted to do. I am indebted to my mom for suggesting the brilliant idea of working my ideas out by creating a blog first – that way I’d have everything I needed to write a book someday. (That book is still to come, do not worry.) I’ve always loved that my mom knew what a blog was before I did – she really is my hero.

When I first started, I had no idea what the heck I was doing. All I knew was that I needed a website, a name and a logo, some social media accounts for support, and that I just needed to start. I look back and think, “how in the hell did I do that?” especially in such a short amount of time. But the fact of the matter is, determination and desperation are powerful drivers. And every fiber in my being was focused on creating a community in Los Angeles, about Los Angeles, for Los Angeles.

I’ve always believed LA could be a picture perfect place, and I knew at the very least all it would take to see it would be open mindedness, the desire to discover, and appreciation for such incredible diversity – culturally and geographically – packed within 503 square miles. I wanted nothing more than to be even a small resource for anyone who shared even a fraction of my same beliefs. I wanted nothing more than to be that friend in LA to anyone who needed one.

I look back and crack up over how adorably “blissfully ignorant” I was stepping into this space. I always joke that I thought I was such a pioneer, that no one had thought about writing a blog about LA before me. Come to find out I am one of many, but I have found my own voice within the space, and I am honored to a part of such an incredible community of writers and bloggers. This city, these people, these platforms have inspired me, encouraged me, and have pushed me to keep going. It’s quite comforting knowing that I am not actually alone.

What I’ve learned over the past 5 years, what I still learn every single day, is that even as dedicated to this city as I am, I will never fully master Los Angeles. But boy do I love trying. And for that reason I will continue to embrace the challenge, keep learning, keep growing, keep exploring and more importantly keep sharing the beauty of journey, and thus hopefully inspire others to do the same.

A man I very much so looked up to and held the highest regard for passed away this year. He was one of my heroes, and if there were a perfect way to describe my sentiment towards the City of Angels, this would be it:

“If you live in Los Angeles you are used to having your city explained to you by people who come in for a couple of weeks, stay in a hotel in Beverly Hills, and take in what they can get to within 10 minutes in their rent-a-car. The thing that people find hard to understand is the magnitude of what’s here. The huge members of multiple cultures that live in the city that come together in this beautiful and haphazard fashion. And the fault lines between them are sometimes where you can find the most beautiful things.” – Jonathan Gold. 

My heart is so incredibly full thinking about what Love & Loathing LA has become. And the truth of the matter is I wouldn’t be where I am without the unconditional support and love from every single one of you who take the time to read my posts, to visit my page, to watch my Instagram stories, send me emails, share your opinions, so on and so forth. From the bottom of my heart thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope Love & Loathing LA has made moments and memories for you that you’ll never forget, and that this space has given you more reasons to love LA than loathe it.

I think the most important thing I’ve learned in these past five years, years that have had their high highs and their low lows, is that success is arbitrary. But what’s undeniable is the measure of success is summed up by a person’s ability to persevere, to tough it out, and to never give up on what’s important to them. Success and failure are on the exact same road. Success is just further down that road. I have a lot of work left to do here with Love & Loathing LA and I hope you’ll stick with me to see it all through.

 

XO,

Caroline

 

YOUR LABOR DAY WEEKEND CHECKLIST

It’s ALMOST that time. That three to five day weekend time, where summer officially ends and the elicit fall wonders finally begin to take hold. I, like Leandra, love summer and hate everything else, although I will say Fall should be a sweet reprieve from the insane heat we’ve been experiencing. One can hope!

But in the meantime, if you’re like me, you’re getting out of town this weekend – or for a full week in my case.(HEY ALASKA!)  So I wanted to make sure you had time to grab/do the last minute essentials so you have the best weekend possible.

Here’s what you’ll need:
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THE BEST *AND HEALTHIEST* COCKTAIL FOR SUMMER – IN PARTNERSHIP WITH STEAZ GREEN TEA

 

Summer in Los Angeles is when happiness just happens. The world seems like your oyster with endless possibilities of fun, and the amount of joy in the air is almost palpable. Picture the best parts with me: surfers lining the coast, people dining beachside, rooftop parties, outdoor movies, BBQ’s, concerts, cocktails – the list goes on.

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THE PERFECT 2-DAY GETAWAY | PARKER PALM SPRINGS

 

If there is one place in Palm Springs that perfectly encapsulates and embodies “Palm Springs”, it’s the Parker. Amiright? Before my recent trip, I hadn’t even BEEN to the Parker and it was still the first place I thought of when I thought of Palm Springs. It’s quintessential, it’s classy, and ask any Angeleno – it’s most peoples favorite property in the area.

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THE BEST YOGA STUDIOS IN LA

 

“Yoga is one of my favorite ways to exercise” – said about 1/2 the LA population. Not only is it an incredible total body workout, but it does wonders for your soul and state of mind as well. One of the great things about Yoga is that you can pretty much set up and “practice” anywhere – studio, at home, or otherwise. Not to mention – yoga really is the one of the most all inclusive physical activities one could join in on, and in LA, we love nothing more than a diverse and inclusive experience – especially one so focused around health and wellness!

SO. In case you weren’t already made aware on social media via several “check out my yoga pose” posts… today is International Yoga Day! And in honor of this wonderful day, I have come up with a list of what I consider to be the best places to do yoga in LA . So if you haven’t yet celebrated, you still have time.

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I’LL TAKE AN ALMOND MILK LATTE WITH A SIDE OF MONEY COACHING – IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CAPITAL ONE CAFE

 

Man, I love f-words. And as you may or may not know, here at Love & Loathing LA, I have a special place in my heart for three f-words in particular: foodfashion and fun. Lately though, there’s been another word on my mind; something I’m pretty sure we all feel some type of way about… and that my friends, is finances.

Is talking about money as enjoyable as talking about food, fashion or fun? No, but it turns out it can actually be a lot more pleasant, informative and even comforting than you might think you just have to know where to go and know who to talk to! If I told you it all goes down in a Café with a hot cup of coffee and a free and friendly Money Coach, would you believe me?

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THE BEST SWIMSUITS MONEY CAN BUY THIS SUMMER

 

So we’ve done a full rundown on what you need to pack for your next tropical getaway… and since it’s arguable that swimsuits are a major component – if not the most important component – they get a whole post all to themselves. As most of us I’m sure, I have a love/loath relationship with bathing suits – probably a bit more loathing than love if we’re being honest. I’ve never loved showing a ton of skin, I can’t honestly say I always feel comfortable and confident in swimsuits, and damn are they expensive tiny pieces of “clothing” or what?!

Well. I have to say. As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten quite good at this “shopping for your body type” thing, and I still standby the fact that high waisted bikinis seem to work for just about everyone. Much like last year’s trip to Mexico, the swimwear theme on my recent trip to the Andaz Mayakoba definitely tended to lead towards the high waisted two pieces, and for once in my life I felt genuinely comfortable in these suits. I did my dudillegence trying on a ton and working with a silhouette I knew work for me and it paid off. So as someone who spent quite a bit of time on this, these are the swimsuits I would say are worth the investment this year:

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5 REASONS WHY THE ANDAZ MAYAKOBA SHOULD BE YOUR NEXT TROPICAL VACATION DESINATION

 

If you’ve been following along on the ‘gram you’d know that I just got back from a few days down in beautiful Mexico! And if you thought from the looks of things that it was a bit similar to last years trip to Mexico, I would say excellent observation, because I did in fact go back to the same damn place. Well almost the same damn place, but hey, as the saying goes – why fix it if it aint broke. The Mayakoba in Playa Del Carmen makes me happy, the end. So yes, we went back to the Mayakoba, but this time we stayed at the Andaz Mayakoba instead of the Banyan Tree and I could not have better things to report back about this resort. If you’re looking for the perfect place to vacay in Mexico – that isn’t $$$$$ Tulum or a cheesy all inclusive – this would be why you need to consider The Andaz:

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THE 5 BEAUTY PRODUCTS YOU NEED TO TRY THIS SPRING

 

One thing I’ll never get tired of – trying new makeup or beauty products. I’ve been dabbling a lot lately looking for new moisturizers, trying a few of the trends my friends swear by, and discovering new cosmetic brands I now cant seem to live without. Because I’ve been such a busy little tester bee I thought I’d share with you the products I’ve recently discovered and am absolutely LOVING.

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