Road Trip to Joshua Tree

Lifestyle, Places, Style, Travel
road trip views

I love road trips! I mean, who doesn’t like blasting out your favorite music, pit stopping at In&Out, stopping on the way to take a few shots? So, this is how our (a travel blogger, a photographer, and a travel&lifestyle creative) road trip to Joshua Tree started. Having heard and seen a lot about Joshua Tree, I ironically didn’t know what to come across, but what we encountered was beyond magical!

on the road road trip views road trip views on the road

Upon entering the Joshua Tree National Park, we stopped to take a few pictures on the road and then head to a garden called cholla cactus garden. These cacti actually look very fragile and even pretty, but as all desert plants, it is very tenacious and stubborn. It is actually famous for its barbed spines that grab whatever they touch without ever letting go! Well, we didn’t know this before one cholla cactus literally clutched itself to Hande‘s jumpsuit, hence her skin, as Mun photographed her. We tried so hard to take it out, and by taking it out I mean attaching that to another object. That was the only way we could get it out! But, of course, it was worth all the pain looking back at these dreamy shots! Don’t you agree?

cholla cactus garden cholla cactus gardencholla cactus garden

After the cholla cactus garden, we had planned to head our home for that weekend and take some pictures in the sunset. However, obviously we didn’t expect for the house to be one and a half hour away from the national park. So, we thought we would miss the sunset in the car driving to the house, but we didn’t know that our enthusiasm and motivation not to miss the sunset would lead to amazing photos with the wind turbines in Palm Springs!

wind turbines

When we finally got to the house, it was already dark and much colder. But we were absolutely happy with our Airbnb home! It was cozy and warm with the most amazing details! As we unpacked and tried to warm ourselves, we couldn’t wait to lose ourselves photographing this design wonder in the middle of the desert! Of course, our night conversations naturally involved editing, blogging, and Instagram! We just love talking about these when we three get together!

The next day, waking up at sunrise has never been so difficult! It was freezing inside as it was outside! I am not used to desert temperatures at all, but coffee helped! And of course the magical light was worth the inconvenience. We were home the whole day taking pictures, editing them and getting cozy with more wood in the fireplace. We just wanted to experience the life in the desert to the fullest and this house gave us this opportunity and more.

morning coffee morning coffee hot tub in the desert morning coffee twirling

The next day was the time for another road trip to the national park, but not without enjoying another magical morning in Joshua Tree! The morning routine started with coffee, a small breakfast, and then some more coffee and books. And then, we gave ourselves up to the magic of Joshua Trees!

joshua tree house lounging in joshua tree lounging in joshua tree lounging in joshua tree

Joshua trees are in fact strange-looking trees with spiky leaves and thick trunks, but they also bloom any time between February to April. I’m actually sad that we missed the flowers, but it’s always an excuse to go back! When you enter the National Park and the road leads you to giant rocks and Joshua trees, you feel like entering into another world. However, you immediately feel like it’s an everyday occurrence to see these trees. It is very strange how it captivates and pulls you into its world. That’s why I thought the land of Joshua Trees must belong in a fairy tale with its strange trees and otherworldly atmosphere.

joshua trees joshua treesjoshua trees

As I said earlier, the desert experience wouldn’t be complete without getting into the hot tub our house offered. So, we also took the opportunity to get warm in the hot tub while it was actually chilly outside! It was pretty scenic looking at the cactus and the rocky mountains!

 

hot tub experience

I know this road trip would not be this magical, full of adventures, and fun without my tribe! I highly recommend taking a road trip with your besties and drive to wherever the road leads you with your favorite music on because those are mostly the times you feel more alive!

Photographs: Munopia Portraits

Thanks for reading!

Gulin

 

 

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Tulum Diaries- Part II

Lifestyle, Places, Travel
walking on the beach

So, Tulum diaries part II is finally here! Well, I can talk about Tulum all day long if you leave me! I’m still searching for ways to go back there ASAP!

This second part will give you all the details about where to go, what to eat, and where to shop in Tulum. There are so many amazing places to go, see and of course snap a few pictures because everywhere is photo-worthy in Tulum!

Where to eat & drink in Tulum?

Posada Margherita– a cute Italian restaurant with delicious food! If you crave for something other than Mexican, this is your spot!

Casa Jaguar– the atmosphere, food, music are amazing! It’s as if you are in the jungle. I highly recommend their fish!

Hartwood– we didn’t eat here because they take their reservations at least a month in advance. And if you don’t have a reservation, you need to go there at 5.30pm and wait for them to seat you. I feel like it’s a little bit overrated with its chef from NewYork but it may be worth to try!

Raw Love– a vegan heaven! a lot of healthy, yummy bowls and salads and even pasta!

Hotel Ahau- Went there for Raw Love and ended up staying for the live music! Perfect location to sip your margarita while listening to great music next to the ocean!

Gitano– we went there two nights in a row! there’s live music and mezcal cocktails are amazing!

Murmur– we loved its cute little bar! the octopus was so delicious!

Matchamama- Soo instagrammable! Matcha heaven!

What to see and where to shop in Tulum? 

Tulum Ruins– we really wanted to go there, but a small accident with the bike prevented us, unfortunately. They are very close, though. You can even bike there.

Casa Malca– as I mentioned in Tulum Diaries Part I, apart from its relation to Pablo Escobar, this is a very unique place. Very mysterious and fabulous decor!

Town center– Well, there are a lot of boutiques where these restaurants and bars are, but they are insanely expensive! We wanted to buy some souvenirs for our families, so we biked to town center, which was 25 min. away from our hotel. There are a lot of shops one after the other, so you have the option to bargain! I got the cutest authentic leather bag from one of these shops! (See it in the pictures)

Hotel Azulik- personally, not been here, but I heard it’s great for pictures!

What not to do?

I mentioned that taking the Supershuttle from Cancun airport to Tulum was a mistake in my previous post. Here is why: While we were booking our roundtrip shuttle at the airport on arrival, they told us to call them one day before our flight and confirm the time. We did exactly what they said, but they called the hotel on the date of our flight and told that they were not able to pick us up because they were overbooked. I mean, what kind of company does that? So we had to find a taxi that would take us from Tulum to Cancun. Luckily, we found a very decent one and avoided a crisis! So my recommendation is do not book with Supershuttle, they are irresponsible and unprofessional!

Thanks for reading!

XOX

gulin

 

sunrise in Tulum

Watching the sunrise in Tulum

pineapple loveTulum town center Tulum town center tata tulum Tata Tulum bar Tata Tulum bar hotel ahau hotel ahau raw bowl raw bowl Posada Margherita on the beach in tulum

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tulum Diaries-Part I

Lifestyle, Places, Travel
hammock

It all started when my husband Oz and I started thinking about our honeymoon in May 2017. As always, we could not agree on a single place so we decided to draw from among the six different spots that we had previously written down. He drew Tulum and I drew Bahamas. So we ended up with these two different yet both magical places! We casually left the final decision after the wedding. When all those hurricanes struck certain places this year, we decided to play it safe and went for Tulum.

I am so glad we agreed on Tulum looking back on our wonderful vacation. It was the perfect combination of tropical idyllic beach and unique places waiting to be discovered. I wanted to both lie down and work on my tan and walk around the cute town for hidden gems. And Tulum was both!

We flew directly to Cancun and after reading a lot of reviews and advice, we decided to take the Super Shuttle, which was a big mistake that I will tell you about in Part II. Upon landing in Cancun, a warm and nice breeze and tropical palm trees welcome you. It was interesting to me that palms have lighter color and the leaves are thinner over there. It takes about one and a half hour to get from Cancun to Tulum. It is a nice long drive with no curves or complications.

When we arrived at our hotel, Tata Tulum, the pants and sweaters were already starting to feel extra, but we were very pleased to get rid of them for the next six days! We were warmly welcomed at Tata Tulum and pretty spoiled by the Tata Tulum crew! Our room was facing the ocean and conveniently located next to the restaurant and the bar. A delicious desert and champagne were waiting for us in our room.

room in Tulum

Our amazing room in Tata Tulum

By the way, we took the red-eye flight to Cancun so we were pretty exhausted the first day. Our hotel had the most comfortable sunbeds, so we tried taking it easy just hanging out on the beach. And of course, looking around and taking some pictures! I’m sure you have seen a lot of travel bloggers going on and on about Tulum and how everywhere is full of photo options, but I must say it is true! I love the fact that it offers best of both worlds: a beautiful, idyllic beach and a bustling, cute town.

Tulum beach

Gorgeous beach in front of our hotel

birds in Tulum

palm tree

The famous leaning palm

Turquoise water, tropical birds, leaning palms.. What else can you look for on a perfect beach? Oh, I know! Maybe freshly-cut coconut served with Mexican chili and lime? These are the things you can see and eat in Tulum on a daily basis. In the afternoon, you have the option to check out these unique and authentic restaurants and bars. Luckily, Tata Tulum is only 5 minutes away from this part of the town. Most of the time, we biked to grab coffee or lunch, but there were nights that we took a taxi, which was so cheap. On our first night, however, we decided to walk and discover. We drank amazing margaritas in a hotel called Coral Tulum Boutique. This hotel and its bar were so colorful that I couldn’t miss the photo opt!

a bar in Tulum

I’m in love with the colors of this bar

margaritas

A tamarind margarita for me and a regular margarita for Oz

Coral boutique hotel

Our view while sipping our margaritas

Our morning routine included waking up before sunrise (how can you sleep knowing that there’s this beauty!), going for a walk on the beach followed with the most lavish breakfast you could imagine, loading up on tropical fruits and coconut juice while tanning and then grabbing our bikes to discover the town more. We even found a Turkish place (Pasha) that makes Turkish coffee, which is one of my favorite coffee in the whole world!

sunrise in Tulum

Sunrise in Tulum

coconut with lime

Fresh coconut with Mexican chili and lime

Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee in Pasha

fresh coconut juice

Fresh coconut juice

Another coffee place I had been wanting to go was Matchamama. Anything matcha really draws me in! It is a cute place to hang out after breakfast or for your coffee fix in the afternoon. Needless to say, with the iconic “I love Tulum so Matcha” sign, it is highly Instagrammable! This cute place is a little bit further down the road but if you ever end up going there, I think you should visit Casa Malca, too, which used to belong to Pablo Escobar back in the day. They turned it into a luxury hotel/villa with limited rooms. Be careful, though, because we almost couldn’t find it since there is no sign on the door. Use your navigation and look for a huge wooden gate with security!

matchamama

Matchamama

matchamama

Matchamama

on a swing

Casually swinging in Casa Malca

Entrance to Casa Malca

Another thing I love about Tulum and where we stayed is the sunset views on the beach! You cannot imagine the colors the sky turns to in sunset! We not only took walks in sunset but also managed to take a few pictures but of course the photographs do not do justice to the colors and the view!

sunset beach

sunset beach

I will be posting another Tulum Diaries since this one is already too long! Stay tuned for more recommendations about where to eat and where to go in Tulum!

Thanks for reading!

XOX

gulin

PS. You can shop my looks below!

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Holiday Dress Guide

Fashion, Places, Style
Velvet jumpsuit

Hello again!

I am so sorry to disappear for such a long time from my blog, but you know there are times when you don’t want to read or write a single thing? Yup, that happened and I am so glad I took that time for myself to reflect on the direction my blog will be taking! A few weeks ago I did a poll on Instastory asking about which posts you like best on my Instagram and most of my followers responded with ‘lifestyle shots,’ so I decided to listen. Plus, I really want my blog and Instagram to be a platform that inspires people rather than just a fashion catalog. I will still be touching on which outfits are trending and tips on what to wear but mainly I would like to blog about lifestyle and traveling. And I am so happy I found out about what I really want to do at last!

So, here I am blogging about best holiday dresses/outfits this season! I know holiday parties are a big thing and you really wanna dress up when it’s cold and festive, well, when it’s the holiday season! That’s why I rounded up my favorite looks for holidays below.

Before you start shopping, a few trending tips for this season: Sequins and sparkly outfits are still a thing. Velvet anything is so trending right now that I acquired a few velvety items now and can’t wait to wear them this season! Also, of course, black and red are still the most classic colors you can choose to wear to any holiday party!

Thanks for reading!

Happy Holidays!!!

XOX

gulin

 

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Velvet jumpsuit Velvet jumpsuit

 

Velvet jumpsuit Velvet jumpsuit

Photographs: Munopia Portraits

 

 

 

Sweater Weather with Faux Leather Leggings

Fashion, Lifestyle, Style
sweater and leggings

I’m just so thrilled finally we are having a sort of a sweater weather! There are so many great fall trends and I just can’t wait to wear them! So, one of these is off the shoulder sweaters you can see almost on every blogger. This trend has actually existed since last year and I am loving the fact that wearing a sweater does not make you feel chunky and unattractive but pretty sexy!

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Polka dot Romper with Red Accessories

Fashion, Style
polka dot romper

You know polka dot reminds me of Marilyn Monroe, black and white movies and red lips? That’s why I feel so glamorous when I’m in polka dots! Polka dot is also one of the trends of this year just like velvet I talked about in this post.

This polka dot romper is so cute and comfortable that it can be worn day or night. Long sleeves actually make it appropriate for fall. The tie-front detail and the ruffle trim adds movement into the romper. It would also look very chic with sock booties, another trend of this season or white sneakers if you would like to dress it down.

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Velvet Bodysuit and Kimono

Fashion, Style
bodysuit and kimono

Happy October friends!

As we gradually start prepping for the fall weather- although it seems like it will never come- I would like to talk about some of the fall trends that you can easily add to your outfits: velvet bodysuit and kimono

I was already using kimono as a summer staple  as something to throw on me on cooler nights, but I discovered it might actually be a great addition to your fall wardrobe. For starters, it can be paired with so many things like jeans, dresses, and skirts. And you both look trendy and stay warm!

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Adding Fun to Work Outfits

Fashion, Style
striped shirt and midi skirt

When Monday morning comes and I get out of bed, other than wishing I was inside the bed, I also wish that I had more fun clothes to wear to work. It seems as if all the pieces in my wardrobe are just so boring! So I thought I’d give some ideas for adding some fun to spice things up at the office because girl, I know how that would make you more motivated about work!

Striped shirts are always my go to look for work, or for anywhere really (I just love them and they look stylish and casual with whatever!). So, when I saw this red striped shirt, I thought what a great staple to add to my wardrobe! Apart from being striped, it is actually off the shoulder, which is what I absolutely love about it. Off the shoulder detail makes it sassy but being a shirt, it retains some of the seriousness somehow.

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Mini skirts and Cozy Knits for Fall

Fashion, Style
sweater and mini skirt

Fall is definitely my favorite season, well after summer yes! But, really I love Fall vibes with all the gorgeous foliage colors, the pumpkin season, cozy sweaters and boots.. So, in an attempt to create one of my favorite looks for this fall, I finally wore my over the knee boots for the first time in a year. I really love these, but you cannot wear them with everything, but this fall/winter, mini skirts with over-the-knee boots are very trendy. So take out your OTK boots, ladies!

This mini skirt carries both of this season’s trends: stripes and the color pistachio (which is one of Pantone’s fall colors). I love the fact that stripes and that bow detail in the front adds a more casual quality to the skirt. You can actually wear it with tees and sneakers as well.

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One Shoulder Shirt+Ripped Jeans

Fashion, Style, Uncategorized
shirt and jeans

Hello friends!

Although the weather in California makes it a little hard to get into the fall mood, we are slowly feeling that the season of sweaters, layers, and pumpkin spice latte is coming! Before ordering more cozy sweaters (’cause I will be doing that), I decided to transition into my favorite season with the all-time-trendy off shoulder or one shoulder shirts.

If you were watching the New York Fashion Week like a crazy person like me, you have probably seen that shirts that are one shoulder, off the shoulder or cold shoulder are everywhere. They go with almost everything from skirts to wide-legged pants and jeans.

I myself love this particular one because of its wrap style and the dramatic sleeves. It feels very unique because of these two qualities. It also has only one collar, which makes it a very fun and trendy top.

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