A Los Angeles Fall

When I came to LA last year, I shared a lot of my favorite places to eat, play, shop, and stay in this travel diary. Now that I’ve lived here for a little bit and have spent an entire fall season here, I wanted to share an updated travel diary, but themed for fall. This will be perfect if you are visiting the area during this time of year, or if you live here and just need a few ideas for some fun things to do.

Fall in Southern California is a bit different than fall in the Northeast (where I’m from). It’s definitely a different type of festive, but still festive nonetheless. There is plenty to do, just without the changing leaves and chilly weather. If you’re in SoCal and looking for that, I’d say take a day trip to Big Bear. Without further ado, here is your guide to a Los Angeles fall…

First thing’s first: pumpkin picking. In my mind, nothing quite says fall like a pumpkin patch. I went to Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch, which is in Culver City, and I loved it. Once you’re inside, you would never know that you’re in the middle of a big city, which was perfect. There were tons of pumpkins to choose from, along with some other fun activities and, of course, food. Fun fact: I randomly saw Mr. Chow from The Hangover while I was there… I can confidently say that there were never Hollywood stars at my pumpkin patches back home, lol.

It’s also no fun to go a fall season without at least one pumpkin spice latte. Though they are as basic as it gets, they’ve become this popular for good reason. I’m not embarrassed to say I’m a fan of pumpkin spice, as you know from this recipe I shared earlier this season. I’ve tried a few pumpkin spice lattes from different coffee shops in the area; this is my favorites (spoiler alert: they’re not Starbucks).

The winner in my eyes is Peet’s! They actually have locations all over California and even a few other states, so if you’re not in LA, you may still be in luck 🙂 One of the things I love about Peet’s is that the coffee is brewed in small batches so every cup is so so fresh. The pumpkin spice is delish, and I can’t wait to try their holiday drinks.

Another one of my very favorite parts of fall is going to haunted houses and hayrides. Fortunately, there are a few great options in LA. Some of the most popular spots are Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, Knott’s Scary Farm (which is down in Orange County) and Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights.

Pumpkin picking, pumpkin spice lattes, and haunted houses are staples for any fall, so I hope you enjoyed this quick guide on how you can get all three in LA!

What are your favorite things to do in LA in the fall? Thank you so much for reading x

Big Bear Travel Diary

Last week I took a mini road trip to Big Bear, which is a town in the San Bernardino Mountains, about two hours away from Los Angeles. Picture the perfect little ski town with mountains, a lake, cute shops and restaurants — the whole nine yards. It was the perfect fall getaway, and it was so nice to get a taste of fall, which we — of course — don’t get much of here in LA.

As most of you know, I grew up in Upstate New York, not far away from the Adirondacks. I would go to the mountains every fall, so it was nice to continue the tradition here in California. If you’re from the east coast or familiar with the ADK, Big Bear was very similar to Lake Placid or a even like a bigger Old Forge.

I haven’t shared a travel diary in quite some time, but this felt like the perfect opportunity. With all that being said, consider this my guide to the fall season in Big Bear, with all the best places to eat, play, shop, and stay. I hope you enjoy!

{pin this to your travel pinterest board for future trips!}

I was only in Big Bear for the day, so I didn’t get to do everything that I would have liked to. One of the things I so badly wanted to do but didn’t have enough time for was a helicopter ride. I have only been on one helicopter ride before, but had so much fun. I would love to do another one soon, and Big Bear would have been the perfect spot (especially with all of the colorful leaves!). However, these are just better excuses to return to Big Bear soon and get more done 🙂 I’m definitely going to visit during the wintertime and see the snowy mountains and hopefully even snowboard.

As soon as I got in town I stopped at The Copper Q for some coffee, and it was the perfect cup for walking around The Village at Big Bear Lake. I got latte with the vanilla soy milk, and it was the perfect amount of sweet. The Village is a specific area of the town where there are cute tree-lined streets with tons of shops and restaurants. It was so pretty, and just like the mountain towns in the Adirondacks.

After walking around the town for a bit, I drove around to some of the trails and parks just to scope out the fall colors. It was so peaceful and relaxing; I had such a great time just exploring for the day.

Even the drive up to Big Bear from LA is stunning; I pulled over so, so many times just to snap a few pics along the road. There are mountains as far as you can see, and with the fall foliage it couldn’t have been a more perfect view.


What is your favorite fall getaway destination? I’d love to hear about it 🙂 Thank you so much for reading x

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate Recipe

It is officially fall, and I know everyone says this, but it’s my favorite time of year. The chill in the air, the outfits, the colors of the leaves, the spookiness — I love everything about it. One of my favorite things to do each fall is to make a few new apple or pumpkin-flavored recipes. This weekend I tried out a new one that I absolutely loved and knew I had to share — it was love at first sip!

I’ve already shared my favorite pumpkin spice latte recipe and pumpkin spice chai latte recipe, and today I’m sharing another pumpkin spice drink: a fall festive hot chocolate. This is such an easy recipe, and is so, so tasty. It is perfect to have on chilly fall night, either curled up watching Hocus Pocus, having a little bonfire outside, or after you come home from a night of haunted hayrides. Give this a try, and let me know how you enjoyed it. Without further ado, here is my pumpkin spice hot chocolate recipe…

/ W H A T  Y O U  N E E D /
(for two delicious cups of pumpkin spice hot chocolate)

  1. 2 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  2. 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  3. 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  4. 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  5. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I added in a tiny extra)
  6. Sugar (or other sweetener) to taste
  7. Vegan whipped cream

/ W H A T  Y O U  D O /

  1. Combine all ingredients other than sweetener in a blender, and blend on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Taste blended ingredients, and add sweetener to taste. Blend again to mix it in.
  3. Pour blended ingredients into saucepan and put over medium heat, stirring regularly until steaming.
  4. Pour into two mugs. Add whipped cream and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice on top to garnish. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my fall recipes! You can find them all here.

Are you going to give pumpkin spice hot chocolate a try? What is your favorite fall beverage?

Prep School


When I was home for the long weekend last weekend, one of the stops I made was at Syracuse University. I always loved my campus during the fall-time — the trees turning bright reds and oranges, along with the ivy-covered buildings. It really is one of the prettiest campuses I’ve ever been on. I had stopped on campus to listen to a guest speaker that was there, and even though it was a little early for the leaves to be changing, there were a few spots that were just coming into their peak.










top (love this one, too!) // necklace (old, similar here) // skirt // booties // watch // bracelet // crossbody bag (old, similar here)

Lately I have been wearing this skirt non-stop (see another way that I styled it here!). I love the way it fits, and the navy color compliments so many of my tops for fall. I recently picked up this top while I was shopping, and am so glad I did. I was on the fence, but once I tried it on I was so happy I decided to purchase it. The color is so perfect for this time of year, as it looks just like the changing leaves on the trees. Pair it with a long gold necklace and cute ankle booties, and you’ve got yourself the perfect look for fall.

What looks are you sporting this fall?



01. Apple Picking
Fall Bucket List
03. Pumpkin Patch
04. Sunflower Season

Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte Recipe



“Pumpkin spice and everything nice” (pretty much my mantra for the fall season). Every year I love to make a few homemade pumpkin spice lattes (they’re better than Starbucks’ — I swear!), but this year I decided to try something a little bit different. This is a recipe that I have been wanting to create for a few years now, but just never got around to it. I’m so happy that I finally made it, though, because I love it! It’s similar to the pumpkin spice latte, but swapping out the hot coffee for something a little spicier.

This is a pumpkin spice chai latte (if you couldn’t tell by the title), and it is perfect for any kind of fall day. It warms you up when there’s a chill in the air and is perfect for either bundling up with a blanket at home or taking it to go for a day of leaf peeping. I sipped a cup of this on my way to the pumpkin patch this weekend, and it was the perfect fall festive day. So, without further ado, here is a my pumpkin spice chai latte recipe…






WhatYouNeed_2For the pumpkin spice base:
1 cup pumpkin puree
02. 3/4 cup light brown sugar
03. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
04. 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

For the chai latte:
2 tablespoons of the pumpkin spice base
1 cup milk (almond, soy, or coconut — I used almond)
1 bag of chai tea

For garnishing:
01. Vegan whipped cream
02. Pinch of pumpkin pie spice (or nutmeg)



For the pumpkin spice base:
Mix all of the base ingredients together until evenly mixed and a dark color. You can store this in an air-tight container (like a mason jar) in the fridge for up to two weeks.

For the chai latte:
01. Pour four ounces boiling water over the chai tea bag. Let steep while you follow the next step.
02. Stir the pumpkin spice base and milk together in saucepan until smooth. Heat over medium-high heat until steaming hot.
03. Pour the hot milk mixture into the chai tea, then top with whipped cream and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg. Enjoy!



check-these-out-too01. Pumpkin Spice Lattes
02. Fall Harvest Buddha Bowl Recipe
03. Fit & Fresh Fall Salad
04. Favorite Healthy Fall Breakfast

Pumpkin Patch



I’ve been checking off my fall bucket list one weekend at a time, and this past one was no different. I was home for the long weekend and, of course, had to go pumpkin picking. My parents have been decorating the front of our house with pumpkins, mums, and other fall decorations, so we went to grab a few more pumpkins to put out there…









sweater // jeans (my favorite pair and on sale for $35!) // scarf // boots (old, similar here)

For casual fall days, I have a pretty easy outfit combo that I typically wear: an oversized sweater with a blanket scarf, comfy jeans, and a pair of easy riding boots. This day was no different!

I have been wearing this sweater non-stop lately. You can’t see it in these pictures since the scarf covers it up, but it actually has a really deep v-neck which I love. I love pairing it with an eyelash lace bralette that shows a little — it’s cute and chic but still looks comfy and cozy at the same time.

The blanket scarf goes without saying — I’m never getting over these! They are too warm and cozy, and perfect for the colder months. They also make almost every outfit look better, adding fun colors and a bright print.

What are your go-to casual fall outfits?



01. Apple Picking 
Fall Bucket List
03. Autumn Prep
04. Sunflower Season

Fall Harvest Buddha Bowl Recipe


You guys already know how much I love Buddha Bowls. If you’re not familiar with what they are, it’s basically a big bowl of plant-based deliciousness. They usually consist of some sort of grain (I always use brown rice), and then all different veggies, beans, etc. on top.  The idea is that it’s such a big bowl that the top has a rounded look to it, like Buddha’s belly. I mean… Who wouldn’t love that, right?

Today’s Buddha Bowl is a recipe that my mom made while I was home last weekend, and I couldn’t NOT share it — I loved it so much. This is a fall-version of my classic Buddha Bowl recipe, which I wrote about last year here. So, without further ado, here is my fall harvest Buddha Bowl…






WhatYouNeed_201. Cooked brown rice
02. Broccoli, chopped
03. Chickpeas, rinsed and dried
04. Sweet potatoes, cubed
05. Kale, stems removed
06. Red onion, sliced in small wedges
07. Goddess dressing (or tahini, whichever you prefer!)
08. Salt and pepper to taste
09. 1 teaspoon cumin
10. 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
11. 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
13. Extra virgin olive oil



01. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
02. Spread sweet potatoes and onions out on baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on top, making sure sweet potatoes are well-coated, then flipping them face down.
03. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove baking sheet from oven.
04. Flip sweet potatoes and add broccoli to baking sheet, drizzling olive oil and adding salt and pepper to the broccoli.
05. Bake for 8–10 minutes, then remove from oven.
06. Add kale, then drizzle olive oil and add salt and pepper to it.
Bake for 4–5 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.
Add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with seasonings.
09. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon oil and chickpeas. Stir frequently. 
Once browned, remove from heat and set aside. (1o minutes over medium heat was perfect for me.)
Place brown rice in bowl, add in veggies and chickpeas over top, then drizzle dressing on top. Enjoy!


Have you ever tried a Buddha Bowl? What is your favorite kind? Let me know how you like this fall Buddha Bowl if you try it out!


check-these-out-too01. Buddha Bowl Recipe
02. Fit & Fresh Fall Salad
03. Favorite Healthy Fall Breakfast

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