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I'm Olivia, a lifestyle blogger and content creator! I'm a lover of fitness, fashion, cooking, and travel. I live in Chicago with my hubby and our 3 crazy pups. I've been blogging and creating for over 5 years. In these digital pages, you'll find content focused around lifestyle, travel, and wellness. Thanks for reading - I'm so happy you're here!


 

 

 

Recent Posts

Our Cross-Country Move: The Recap

It’s official, we’re in LOS ANGELES! There were times I thought I might never get to say those words; most recently while we were in the middle of our 32 hour road trip across the country. I have lots that I want to say about moving to LA and our experience here so far, but this post is going to specifically cover our cross-country trip because I got so many questions about where we stayed along the way.

I wanted to fully document this trip in a fun way, so I chose locations that would make great photos, and I’m so happy with how our Moving to LA photos turned out. I’ll break down each location below with links to Airbnbs/hotels, too!

There is a different route that shaves about 2 hours off the total drive time from Chicago to LA, but it goes directly through some pretty windy mountain areas, and we felt better about driving our moving truck through a flatter area, which is why we opted for this route.

Chicago to Los Angeles

We drove for 4 full days and left a very short, 2 hour drive the morning of our move. And I’m so glad we did! It would have been wayyyyy too much to get up extra early and do a full days worth of driving before spending a full day moving. Here’s the itinerary we followed:

  • Day 1: Chicago -> Springfield, MO (7.5 hours)
  • Day 2: Springfield -> Amarillo, TX (8.5 hours)
  • Day 3: Amarillo -> Holbrook, AZ (7.5 hours)
  • Day 4: Holbrook -> Palm Springs, CA (7 hours)
  • Day 5: Palm Springs -> Los Angeles (2 hours)

Day 1

This day was probably the most hectic, because it was our move-out day from Chicago. We already have our moving truck packed, so in theory, we just had to box up our air mattress and hit the road! But, in reality, it felt like there was still a lot that needed to be done before closing the door behind us for the final time.

Eventually, we got out of the city and onto the road. And we slowlyyyyy made our way to stop #1, Springfield, MO. We love using Airbnb and opt for a rented property as much as possible, so we were really happy when we discovered Urban Roots Farm. If you’ve never rented an Airbnb, you can get $65 off your first booking by clicking here!

Urban Roots is a little farm right in the middle of downtown Springfield. The owner is super sweet, and can be found nearby taking care of her gardens. There’s even a little farm stand where the food is sold. It’s super charming.

Day 2

We got up early and got on the road again, because every mile closer to LA was exciting to me. If we had to sleep somewhere, I wanted it to be as close to California as possible. Our next stopover was Amarillo, TX in a cute little country cottage that we also found through Airbnb. It was on a quiet street with plenty of room for our truck, but just a few blocks from everything we needed; Chipotle for dinner and Starbucks for breakfast. All the essentials.

Day 3

This part of the drive was the most mountainous section of our trip. It wasn’t unmanageable or anything, but there were about 4-5 hours that were filled with literal ups and downs. It was beautiful, but I think my husband would have preferred to stay on flat ground with the his over-sized truck. But the mountains didn’t keep us from our next crash pad, which happened to be a wigwam!

Wigwam Village Motel #6 is an iconic stop for anyone passing through Holbrook. Aside from the full motel property, travelers were stopping at all hours for photos and to take a peek around. The inside was surprisingly cozy, and there was enough room for us and our pups to spread out.

You actually have to call or send an email to reserve a night in a Wigwam, so no online booking here! But you can get all the details through their website.

Holbrook doesn’t seem to have a ton of restaurants regularly, and in the midst of a pandemic, there were probably even less. So, we ordered a good old Pizza Hut pizza and played card games until we had soaked in enough of wigwam life.

Day 4

This was my second most anticipated day because it meant we were finally crossing over into California! Plus, I’d never been to Palm Springs and I was really excited to get to our hotel, grab a drink and dinner by the pool, and relax a little before the big moving-in day!

Our drive was uneventful and the only thing I really saw was cacti… for 7 hours. Needless to say, it was quite the quiet drive, which is always a good thing when you’re on a road trip.

We stayed at Saguaro and it was bright and colorful; exactly as I’d imagined. Unfortunately, we missed a lot of the daylight, but we did get to grab an hour and a meal by the pool before crashing into bed. The weather was amazing, the property is great, and the staff are more than accommodating. I definitely want to plan another visit, especially when this madness is behind us and the hotel events are in full swing again.

I’m not Clark Griswold; I’ve never had the desire to cross the country by car. But, we had fun making a little getaway out of it, and our final destination was our new home in LA! So, it was most certainly worth it! Plus, we got to add some adventure into a year that’s been travel-less for the most part. Be on the lookout for more things Los Angeles living soon! Updates coming ASAP!


Some items from the outfits I’m wearing above.

White Privilege and what it means

White Privilege from a White Perspective

I’m a white woman in America. I don’t deserve a voice to speak on this topic, but because of systemic racism and the color of my skin, I’ve been given one. Let me start by saying that I’m uncomfortable writing and sharing the following words; but I wholeheartedly believe that it’s important we all get uncomfortable and start using our platforms to be allies for the black community. There’s a ton of information to consume, and honestly, it’s overwhelming. But one thing that’s been made loud and clear is this: silence is complicity. Being uncomfortable is part of the process, and the desire to avoid discomfort is a large part of the problem. Our problem.

[Read More…]

I’m a white woman in America. I don’t deserve a voice to speak on this topic, but because of systemic racism and the color of my skin, I’ve been given one. Let me start by saying that I’m uncomfortable writing and sharing the following words; but I wholeheartedly believe that it’s important we all get uncomfortable and start using our platforms to be allies for the black community. There’s a ton of information to consume, and honestly, it’s overwhelming. But one thing that’s been made loud and clear is this: silence is complicity. Being uncomfortable is part of the process, and the desire to avoid discomfort is a large part of the problem. Our problem.

[Read More…]
Social Distancing

Social Distancing; Why It’s a Non-Negotiable

As a creator, sometimes I write blog posts and content that I know will do well; tutorials, clothing hauls, and how-to’s. And then there are times that I write about what no one wants to read because I have a responsibility to do so – this is one of those.

Staying in. Social distancing. Self-isolating. Being quarantined. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a term that won’t be quickly forgotten. I’m looking forward to watching one of those “decade rewind” shows and seeing all the Coronavirus memes that took over in 2020. I can’t wait until this becomes a topic for sketch comedy to say funny things like “remember when we all bought 6 months worth of toilet paper because we thought we were going to die.” But that day is not today.

Today, we’re all still stuck at home, wondering what’s going to happen next. But here’s what most people don’t realize: what happens next is directly affected by what each of us chooses to do right now.

I’m not a scientist or a doctor, and I won’t pretend to be. This virus doesn’t make any more sense to me than anyone else – but what does make sense to me is the guidance, suggestions, and now orders from the CDC and local governments to stay home.

Yesterday’s news hit me with a hard statistic to swallow: in order for us to flatten the curve, 50-70% of us need to be following the social distancing guidelines. When you open up your social media, are more than half of your friends at home staying in? Because while I have a lot of really committed, responsible friends – I also still see a swarm of friends boarding airplanes, discussing keeping their spring break plans, having “corona parties”, and more.

I’ve also seen a tons of posts asking “why we have to follow these guidelines if we’re young and healthy”? There’s even a few conspiracy theorists, questioning whether or not we’re making too big of a deal out of this.

Can I take a second to directly answer those questions, from a very non-scientific standpoint? Can I tell you what you need to hear right now?

I’m selfish – really selfish. I grew up as an only child, I’ve worked for myself, from home, for the past 6 years. If there’s anyone who understands playing by your own rules, it’s me. But this is the time to grow up and realize that the world is so much bigger than you. You have a responsibility, an obligation even, to look out for the other people in your society. That’s what it means to be a good human. 

You might be young and healthy, but your parents or grandparents might not be. This is a humbling reminder that we don’t know everything about everyone. Being immunocompromised doesn’t always look a certain way. It might be easy to pick out the elderly man who totes around his oxygen tank, but what about the woman who fought for her life in a battle with cancer? Her hair may have grown back, but her immune system might still be compromised. Do you know every person’s story? Because it’s very possible that your friends, neighbors, and even family members have experienced something that you don’t about; in fact, they might not even know about it. If Uncle Fred hates going to the doctor, how would you know if it’s really just “heartburn” or “gas”?

There’s a chance that your suspiscions are correct; that this virus won’t do you much harm personally, since you’re young and healthy. Side note; there’s also a chance you’re wrong, since world class scientists and doctors still haven’t learned all the data or details on this, but it’s your life, so it’s yours to gamble with. However, what’s not your is the life of someone’s parent. Their grandparent. Their best friend. Their sibling. Their son or daughter. Can you honestly say that you want to have a direct impact on someone’s physical well-being, potentially their life, because you didn’t want to miss your spring break trip?

Are we making too big of a deal out of this? There are over 10,000 people waking up this morning without their loved ones who would probably say no, no we’re not. They’re not staying in their homes today because of obligation or quarantine; they’re staying in to grieve.

The rest of us should count ourselves lucky that the only thing we have to say goodbye to is our weekend and travel plans. It took me a long time to learn that pretending something doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away. This is where we’re at right now – it’s not the year that any of us would have hoped for, but it’s here none-the-less. Here in Chicago, the restaurants and bars have been closed for almost a week. Last night, all of California was ordered to “shelter-in-place”, (which means they should only be leaving their homes for necessities). Even if you disregard all of the medical statistics and still don’t believe this virus can affect you and your loved ones, the lawmakers do. I mentioned that statistic earlier; 50-70% of Americans need to comply with social distancing in order for us, and more importantly, the lawmakers, to see positive results. If we don’t, we’ll continue to see more steps being taken. This time can be spent positivity and doesn’t need to be stretched out.

Even if you don’t know someone who’s sick, elderly, or immunocompromised, we all know someone that wants to live their life normally again. That someone is probably you. The longer we see groups of people not complying with social distancing, the longer this goes on. It’s March – for most of us, it’s still cold, rainy, snowy, and boring anyway. But spring is officially here, and all the fun you’ve been waiting for all winter is on the horizon.

The coming months are typically filled with proms, graduations, weddings, family vacations, festivals, parades, baseball games, cook-outs, picnics, and reunions. Please, stay inside now so that we can all get out and enjoy those things soon.

Our local businesses depend on the support of their consumers, and right now, supporting them means staying inside. Each day that our favorite restaurants have to remain closed is a day without profit for them. Every day that your stylist – who’s taken care of you every time you decided you wanted to “color your own hair” – can’t work is a day that they might not be able to pay their rent. Companies can’t afford to pay their mortgages without generating earnings, so they’re letting go of your friends and family.

To those of you who are making huge sacrifices and tough choices right now, I see you. I have a friend who cancelled her wedding, and another who postponed her honeymoon. I know people that haven’t seen their elderly family members in weeks. To the moms who are re-learning math all while keeping your kids entertained, scrubbing crayon off the wall, and cooking dinner – you are making an impact; hang in there.

This isn’t a time for selfishness. If you approach this is in the right light, you’ll be reminded of how amazing it is that our world functions so well together. We need each other, and right now, we need each other more than ever. This isn’t a message of panic; there’s no need to be afraid. This is a call to intentional action. Please, please, stay home. Cancel your gathering. Postpone your trip. Wash your hands. Remember that everyone loves someone. Just because it’s not your someone that needs support right now doesn’t mean it won’t be one day soon. Show up now… and by that, I mean don’t show up, anywhere