the pale girl’s guide to summer vacay

Recently I spent a week in Palm Springs California doing so many fun things! This wasn’t my first trip there, my family has a condo in Palm Springs that we try to visit often. Now you might very well be thinking ok how hot was it in Cali this time of year, and how tanned did you get? A) HOT af B) My skin is the color of the underbelly of a trout so no tan here. I wear SPF 110 and I get zero color at all or I burn from head to toe.

So! If you or someone you know is planning a vacay to Cali, or you haven’t decided where to go yet, I can help! Bonus: if you are a pale girl like me, I have all of the tips you need to stay out of the sun.

Like I said we usually stay in Palm Springs California. Palm Springs is a straight up desert climate and it gets HOT af. If we take a trip in the summer months (June to September) we always plan day trips and lots of activities to keep us cool in that heat. The temperatures can be up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit during the day! That’s in the 40’s Celsius. Stay safe and use that SPF.

If you’re heading the Palm Springs in search of sand and oceans STOP right now. Palm Springs is a full-blown desert and doesn’t have either of these things. If you want beaches and ocean tides steer clear of the desert and head to Laguna Beach, Newport, Malibu, or LA. I’ll post some travel tips for these areas soon!

If you do plan on going to the desert and you’re looking for a place to stay, check air BNB. They usually have awesome rentals because so many people own there and then take off when it gets too hot. Or like us, they own but don’t live in town and rent to people through different services. My best advice, don’t stay anywhere without a pool. You will want to spend some time lounging and you will be desperate to cool down at some point during the day. Most places come equipped with lovely pools but just in case.

Things to do in Palm Springs:

Check out the tram. It takes you 8,516 feet up into the mountains, where it is always at least 10 degrees cooler. Once you’re at the top you can enjoy a nice meal, walk around, check out some of the walks or hikes. They also offer overnight hiking. I’ve never done the overnight hikes but I’m sure they would be amazing. More details here:

Palm Springs is home to tons of shopping. My favorite is the amazing outlets at Cabazon. These are about 20 minutes out of the downtown Palm Springs area but well worth a short trip. Tons of shops and restaurants. It’s outside but all the stores are air conditioned and there is plenty of shade to stay cool on hot days. These outlets have everything from Michael Kors, to under armor and just about everything in between. Just don’t do what I did and end up with an overweight bag for the trip back! Oops

Another great spot for shopping is El Paseo. El Paseo is a shopping district that is about as boujee as it sounds. Lots of designer labels and name brands. Even if it’s not in your price range, el paseo is a beautiful walk and looks like something out of a movie so go for the gram.

Downtown Palm Springs has the most beautiful Starbucks I’ve ever seen. Worth it just for that. If cold amazing overpriced coffee isn’t something you deeply desire (weird but ok) go to the shops. Lots to see and I definitely saw a cold stone creamery when I was there. Don’t ask me if I went in I don’t want to talk about it. The downtown district also has an amazing outdoor night market on Thursday’s! So many local vendors come out. And it’s worth it just for the people watching I promise. The market starts at 7:00pm and a lot of the shops stay open late those nights. So shop in the pm when the sun sets and you can walk around without turning into a lobster!

Instagram worthy spots:

The Saguaro Hotel: this spot is so colorful and the pool is amazing. I haven’t heard great reviews of the actual hotel but it is worth a pit stop to hit the pool and take some cute photos with the colorful rooms!

Indian Canyon: This street is known for its whacky colorful doors! The homes almost all have some bright fun colored front doors to look and take pics of/with. I’m not 100% sure of the protocol for taking a selfie with someone’s front door, but I honestly think it happens a lot so do your thing.

The Tram: Being more than 8,000 feet above the Coachella Valley makes for some pretty stellar pics. There’s nothing quite like looking over the Coachella Valley from all the way up there!

I’ll be posting about more of my California adventures soon! Stay posted for Disney Deets, and info on our stellar day trips to the best California beaches.

xo jess


summertime top ten

  1. Song: The song of the summer for me is Neon Love by Madeline Merlo. Madeline Merlo is a Canadian girl! She’s from BC living in Maple Ridge. I love this new song of hers because of its country pop blend and it is so fun to sing along to. Available now on Apple music!
  1. Outfit of the summer is my black Smash + Tess romper! I got mine for $109 online. I live in this thing. I have the black shorty romper. It is perfect for lounging around the house or dressing it up a bit to go out. Smash and Tess is also a Canadian company. For anyone who lives with chronic pain, this is a must-have. It is totally socially acceptable to wear out of the house but it isn’t restricting and is perfect for those “do I really have to put on pants?” days. Check them out here:
  1. Shoes! Okay, I have a few summer must-haves for shoes. My go to are my Birkenstocks. I live for the back support that these babies give me when I’m on my feet for a long time. I walked 30,000 steps in these guys in Disneyland in one day and not a blister or pain was had. My other more recent faves are my white vans. I have the lo pro lace up ones. These are so cute with jeans, shorts and even dresses/skirts. I used to be such a converse girl but these may have taken me to the Van’s side. Little to no breaking in! They were comfy right off the bat. I got mine for $64.99 at Journeys and you can find them here:
  1. My summer product is a new curling wand! I just recently splurged on the beautiful rose gold and white T3 whirl trio from Sephora. Its one curling iron with 3 different attachable wands. I hate curlers with clamps I have thin hair and the clamp ALWAYS leaves dents. The wand-style is perfect for me. I love the three different wands so that I can achieve different styles. It all folds up nicely and come with a travel bag as well as a glove for anyone afraid to burn their fingers! I highly recommend! You can check it out here:
  1. Iced Coffee! Can anyone beat Starbucks? No. They own the coffee game as far as I am concerned and I will not drink cold bean water from anywhere else. I am living for their Cascara cold brew with the cold foam. Something about foam just makes a drink for me and this addition of cold foam is just perfection. It adds that touch of creaminess without taking over my cold brew coffee. I LOVE IT
  1. To Do: My boyfriend and I love checking out local farmers and crafters markets. Kelowna has one that runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays all summer long from 8am to 1pm. We love trying yummy snacks, seeing local art, and stocking up on fresh produce for the week. While we were on our vacation in California this past month, we also checked out the one in Palm Springs and it was awesome! I highly recommend checking it out in your own communities.
  1. Accessory: Right now I am obsessed with my Lululemon scrunchie! These cute little guys can be found at any Lululemon store or online. They retail for $8 and come in tons of cute colors! I have the dusty pink one. I am not about that ponytail dent so these work perfectly for me. Find it here:
  1. Book: I am in love with Liane Moriarty the author of Big Little Lies. If you haven’t read it year what the heck are you doing?! She captured me with BLL and now I have read a few more by her. I would recommend Three Wishes, The Husband’s Secret, and Truly, Madly, Guilty. The thing that they all have in common is some element of mystery. She often starts her stories with some crazy life-changing event and then takes you back to the beginning before it happened. As you’re reading you’re thinking about how everything fits and how it all leads to that one final thing. She’s such a talented writer and I can’t wait to read more by her.
  1. Swimsuit: Ok I fully hate swimsuits. I hate wearing them, I hate shopping for them, I hate thinking about them! But, with my vacation to California and living in walking distance to the beach, I knew that I would have to buy one this year and suck it up. I went to La Vie En Rose Aqua and found the most gorgeous suit. I was able to find a one piece that didn’t make me feel like I was 90 years old but also made me feel covered and confident. It shows skin in the right places and totally hides problem areas. They had such a huge selection and their quality is super. Check out the suit that I got and some more options here:
  1. Who doesn’t love a boozy/fresh summer drink?! I have developed such a strong love for Social lite sodas! These boozy drinks are so light and refreshing for summertime! The best part is they have 80 calories and are unsweetened so you aren’t ruining your diet on the weekend! The pineapple mango is my favorite so far. If you find them not sweet enough add some lemon juice! These can be found at most liquor stores.

***DISCLAIMER: none of these companies/brands/people are compensating me in any way to talk write about these products. Everything here is an honest opinion of my personal experience with each item***

welcome to my mess!

I am a lot of things, a mess is just one of them. I am a loving mother to my cat baby he’s 14 months old and the love of my life. Speaking of love, I am a girlfriend to my wonderful boyfriend Chandler (he’s not the love of my life but he understands that our fur baby comes first). We’ve been together for a little over two years (more on that little fairytale another time). I am an endometriosis advocate/fighter. Endometriosis is a chronic pain condition/illness that affects 1 in 10 women around the globe. It takes place when endometrial tissue (usually found in the uterus) grows out of control all over different organs causing a lot of painful symptoms. I am also a teacher at a learning centre for children, teens, and young adults with learning and developmental struggles. Most of the people that I work with are on the autism spectrum.

I am a blogger! This one is super new for me. I’ve never had an experience quite like this. I’ve learned so much from bloggers and public figures on social media. I am hoping that I can be that positive energy, uplifting post, cute cat pic, endo info, or little light that’s helps someone else! I hope that through sharing my life, my happiness, my struggles, my MESS, I will help you to remember that you are not alone.

xo jess