What I Packed for Mexico..

We are off to Mexico! Okay, I know what a lot of you are thinking. You probably think we are crazy to be headed on vacation during the coronavirus pandemic, and well maybe we are. Honestly, we have thought a ton about canceling this trip, a ton. But after talking to two medical professionals and taking CDC precaution about Mexican travel, I feel comfortable taking this trip.

Okay, now that the not-fun topic is out of the way. I am so excited to head to Mexico and sit on the beach and drink margaritas and enjoy so much pool time. This is our first time to Mazatlan and I am thrilled to see a different part of Mexico. Mike and I love visiting Spanish speaking countries and if you follow me on Instagram you know my obsession with Mexican food is real. 

For this trip, I am only bringing a carry-on and that bag is FULL of amazon finds. I just bought three new swimsuits and a new dress from Amazon that I am so excited about! This is the first time in a long time that I thought about what I was I packing so I hope to be wearing everything I brought (or at least close to everything).

Hat On The Map | Lifestyle and Fashion Blog
Hat On The Map | Lifestyle and Fashion Blog

The 15 Best Apps For Road Trips

The 15 Best Apps For Road Trips

I love a road trip, my husband loves a road trip, our cats mostly love a road trip. I mean nothing says adventure like a good road trip. Fortunately, long are the days when maps came on paper, and the only road trip entertainment available was a static radio. Now we have the luxury of cell phones and can download all of the best apps for road trips.

During my childhood, my family went on a ton of road trips! Every year we would load up our Dodge Caravan and trek to see our family in Texas, Oklahoma or Montana. When it comes down to it, I think I equate my love of road trips on all of those fun memories I had with my family growing up.

My mom is a 2nd-grade teacher, so when school was out for the summer, it was time for adventure. I would pack my little bag full of magazines with Nsync on the cover and grab my blue pocket GameBoy and was ready for the long drive. Road trips these days look a bit different then they did when I was a child.

Fortunately, technology has changed since the days of long road trips with my family. We no longer rely on a walkman and a paper atlas for these long trips. In 2019, all of the resources you need for a long, fun adventure can be downloaded onto your iPhone, there are so many available apps for road trips

If you are heading out on a road trip and are looking for the best apps for road trips, look no further! I’ve compiled all of the essential road trip apps you need including ones to entertain you and tools your wallet will be thanking me for later.

The Best Apps For Roadtrips



This app is similar to those other vacation rental sites, only better. Whimstay partners with vacation rental property managers to provide last-minute travelers with very affordable vacation rentals. The properties on the Whimstay app are listed at up to 60% off their original rate.

Hotels Tonight

This app is especially useful during a road trip because there are times when you just can’t stand driving anymore. Hotels Tonight has the BEST deals on hotels for those who book at the VERY last minute.


We all know booking.com but did you know on their app not only are you able to get hotels but you can also rent apartments, cabins, cottages, basically any kind of property that you want.



The Roadtrippers app is a must-have for going on a road trip. You can plan your road trip route and Roadtrippers will suggest great stops along the way. Say you are planning a Road trip and want to plan a little afternoon hike, RoadTrippers can give you suggestions along your route. It’s a great resource to outline your road trip before you even leave your house.


TripCase is traditionally for flight organization but has some great features that will help road trippers plan their travels. Use TripCase to organize a fun tour, or to see what the weather will be like. My favorite part about this app is it lets you save all the details so you can stay organized.

Finding Your Way

travel bloggers


As much as I love a road trip I have a secret, I am a horrible passenger. If you are like me and only like to sort of pay attention, this app is for you. iExit lets you know exactly what amenities are available at upcoming exits. You can search for places you want to stop, like certain gas stations or restaurants.

Cheap Gas


Probably the most practical app on this list. Not only is this app great for road trips, but if you are frugal like me, this is a great everyday app. It’s dedicated to helping you spend less on gas by showing you where the nearest gas stations are and which ones are the cheapest.

The Best Food

TV Food Maps

Are you ready for the coolest app?! This food app shows you restaurants that have been featured on your favorite food shows and lets you plan your trip around those restaurants. It also allows you to filter restaurants by the tv show they were featured on.


When it comes to food on the go, I can be VERY indecisive. FoodSpotting finds food based on what sounds good, not just the restaurant type. This app is a great road trip tool because it lets you choose where to eat based on specific dishes and there are photos and reviews of the food!

Food Tripping

Food Tripping helps you eat healthier on your road trip by suggesting healthier food options. I like to eat a low carb diet and on a road trip, that can be tricky. It’s easy to only eat junk food while on a long trek, but this app helps you find healthier food options. From organic coffee shops to a farmer’s market, this app is your best resource for healthier food options.


apps for road trips


This app gives you access to Audio guides for destinations all over the world. Learn something new about each place you stop. It’s like a local tour guide but on an app.

Loyal Books

Loyal Books has a wide selection of free audiobooks and you don’t need a library card to gain access! Audiobooks are great for a road trip and also a great way to unwind at the end of your workday.

Tune In Radio

TuneIn Radio is one of the best apps around for listening to the radio on your phone. The app offers a library of music, sports, talk, etc. This app is super easy to use and the sound quality is much better than the white noise you may hear on your car radio while driving through the middle of the desert.


Raise your hand if you love some NPR?!? National Public Radio (NPR) has created an app that makes it’s content accessible wherever. You can listen to your local National Public Radio station or any of the network’s shows. I highly recommend listening to Embedded on your next road trip, you can thank me later.

The Podcast App

This is a given right? I live for a podcast. I might not be up to date with current music, but ask me about a recent podcast and I know them all. My current favorite binge-able podcasts are:

  1. The Dream
  2. The Missing Cryptoqueen
  3. America Dissected
  4. The Mysterious Mr. Epstein
  5. Bardstown

If you need additional podcast recommendations, you can find some of my favorites here.

Future Adventures

Now that I have rounded up all of my favorite apps for road trips, I feel the need to hit the open road. Where should we go next? I would love to drive to The Grand Canyon or maybe Arches National Park.

Please tell me, where are you heading next? Will you be the driver or are you like me and sit passenger the entire time? Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear about your adventures!

Let’s Be Besties

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Hat On The Map | Lifestyle and Fashion Blog
Hat On The Map | Lifestyle and Fashion Blog

The Best of Palm Springs: Palm Springs Restaurant Guide

The Best of Palm Springs: Palm Springs Restaurant Guide

I love Palm Springs, it’s unlike anywhere I have ever experienced. The beautiful desert landscape nestled up against dramatic mountains, it’s breathtaking. In my travels, I have not experienced anywhere as dramatic, beautiful, fun and full of delicious options as Palm Springs. And the best part is I get to call this city my home!

I have called Palm Springs home for about a year and a half and I have loved living here! Now that I am an experienced desert resident, the question I get the most from friends, family and Instagram followers is: Where to eat and drink in Palm Springs?!

Palm Springs Travel Guide

Not only is Palm Springs a beautiful destination but it also has some of the most amazing restaurants and bars. The Coachella Valley has turned into a must-visit Southern California destination for bachelorette weekends, golf getaways, birthday trips, etc and I am always getting asked for recommendations.

Instead of continuing to copy and paste my list of favorite restaurants and bars, I’ve rounded up all of my recommendations here. These are, in my opinion, the best restaurants, bars and hidden dining gems. From coffee to late-night cocktails, I’ve included the best of the best.

Cocktails in Palm Springs

This list of delicious restaurants and bars is not only from my experience but I also had some help from amazing Palm Springs bloggers (Hi BrookeCynthia, and Nicole!) These three ladies are Coachella Valley Experts! We recently celebrated Wine Wednesday together at Dead Or Alive and discussed all of the best restaurants and bars in this city we call home. It was so fun to hear all about their favorite places while drinking delicious Rosé.

Palm Springs Restaurant Guide

California Travel destinations

I could give you 20 options per category because Palm Springs has that much good food but for this guide, I have narrowed it down to the absolute best 5 per category. When deciding on this list I had a few criteria that I used to judge the restaurants. I wanted the establishment to be delicious (because DUH), affordable and really showcase the beautiful ambiance this city has to offer.


Bacon Flight at Cheeky’s
Courtesty ParTaste

Looking for a traditional diner breakfast or maybe a really great egg sandwich? These 5 restaurants will start your morning the best way!

Rick’s $$
Cheeky’s $$
Wilma Frieda $$
Wexler’s Deli $$
Grand Central $$


the best brunc
Brunch in Palm Springs

When it comes to Brunch, Palm Springs does not mess around. Oh and the best part about brunch: delicious cocktails!

Workshop Kitchen + Bar $$$
Eight4Nine $$$
Farm $$
Jake’s $$
Norma’s at The Parker $$$


the best sandwich
Lunch in Palm Springs

Leave LA Saturday morning, make it to the desert by noon, first stop: LUNCH! Make sure to check out one of my favorite places!

Sherman’s $$
The Sandwich Spot $
Chicken Ranch $$
El Patron $$
Fuzion Five $$


Sushi in Palm Springs
Courtesy Nadia Cho

After a day at the pool or on the golf course, you absolutely deserve a delicious meal!

El Mirasol (Mexican) $$
Rooster and The Pig (Vietnamese) $$
Las Casuelas Terraza (Mexican) $$
L’Olivo (Italian) $$
Sandfish (Sushi) $$$

Restaurants with Kids

Courtesy The Draughtsman

Billy Reed’s $$
Spaghetteria $$
Elmer’s $$
Glitch $$
Draughtsman * $$

*Draughtsman might seem like a weird pick on this list considering it is mostly a bar BUT it has some really awesome yard games your kids will absolutely love!

Best Cocktail Bars

Best Bars in Palm Springs

What is a trip to the desert without a few delicious cocktails!?! AMIRITE?! These five cocktail bars have delicious cocktails for every taste.

Paul Bar
Truss & Twine


Palm Springs weekend
Courtesy Cynthia Serna

After a late night of delicious cocktails what is better than a great cup of coffee? I am an avid Iced Coffee drinker and the weather is always right for Iced Coffee in the Coachella Valley.

Ernest Coffee
4 Paws Coffee Co
L’Atelier Café

Honorable Mention: Starbucks in Downtown Palm Springs; I really didn’t want to include any chains but the Palm Springs Starbucks is a must, so dang cute!

This blog post is the first in a series about all things Palm Springs. I am working on several travel guides that will include the best places to stay in Palm Springs, fun things to do, all the best hikes, etc. What would you like to know about Palm Springs? Let me know in the comments!

Palm Springs vacation

For more California Style Outfit Inspiration, shop my outfits here.

Lets be besties!


Hat On The Map | Lifestyle and Fashion Blog
Hat On The Map | Lifestyle and Fashion Blog

The Best of Cabo San Lucas; three must visit Cabo destinations.

The Best of Cabo San Lucas; three must visit Cabo destinations.

We recently went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for a destination wedding and boy was it the most fun! I was there with all of my college best friends for five days of sunshine, tequila, and so many tacos. It was the perfect way to spend my fourth of July long weekend.

Living my best life in Cabo San Lucas

When I think of destination weddings I think of a small group of people that travel for the wedding, that was not the case here. This was a very large group of people that came to Mexico to celebrate one of my favorite couples.

The large group that traveled to Mexico for the wedding had tons of opinions and suggestions of what had to be seen and where we had to go. Luckily we were very specific about what restaurants we went to or where we spent our time. The trip as a whole was amazing but there were three specific things that really stuck out to me!

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone visits a major city for 48 hours and suddenly knows “all the best places” because that seems so unrealistic. This is not one of those posts! I just don’t understand how someone can visit a major metropolitan area and instantly become a subject matter expert.

There were three places in Cabo that were recommended to us that I fell in love with and would like to visit every month. I was SO impressed with these three experiences.

Tacos Guss

I like to think of myself as an Al Pastor Taco Connoisseur and this place was my mecca. Right inside the town, this little hole in the wall is serving perfect, simple tacos. The tacos come out with just the meat and the tortilla and then they bring out a large board with all of the toppings and salsas. I think the trick to Tacos Guss is they really focus on the basics, there is nothing fancy or gimmicky about this place they just focus on really delicious, authentic Mexican food.

Boat Ride to the Arches

At all the hotels and resorts they will advertise arches tours for $50 – $60 but the real trick is to show up at the marina and jump on a smaller boat for $10 – $15 dollars. This hour-long ride took us so close and personal to the rocks and sea life right off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. I thought my geologist husband would be blown away by the beautiful rock formations but he was much more impressed with the boat drivers navigating abilities.

Boat ride to the Cabo San Lucas Arches

Sunset Cocktails at Mona Lisa Smile

I’ll be the first one to admit when my friends were telling me that we were leaving our resort to go to a different resort 10 minutes away to have cocktails, I wasn’t super into it. My thought process was I could sit here and drink the same cocktail but never the less I went. Boy was I blown away. We were whisked off to the restaurant up the road just in time for a beautiful Cabo San Lucas sunset. I had a blueberry margarita, it was great but nothing compared the beautiful sunset we experienced!

The New York Times has ranked the Mona Lisa Smile as the 5th coolest restaurant in the world. They are not joking around, it’s so stunning. There are not enough adjectives in the world to describe the beauty we saw. While enjoying a beverage there we saw a super romantic, elaborate proposal and it really made me fall more in love with the place.

This Mexican Sunset was no joke.

I’ve always loved Mexico, Mexican food and the Mexican culture and Cabo San Lucas did not disappoint!

Our next trip to Mexico is to Mexico City, what are some must-see places in the capital city of Mexico?

Happy Exploring!



The Best Bars In Las Vegas That No One Is Talking About

The Best Bars In Las Vegas That No One Is Talking About

Post Author: Mike

Ah Vegas, one of my favorite cities to visit.  Easily the city I have visited the most, something for everyone.  I have been going to Vegas for almost a decade, Heather has been going her entire life.  I have been by myself, with large groups, for work, for fun, to see family, and mostly because it’s only a few hours away from where we now live.  The city is constantly changing and evolving; new restaurants and bars are constantly popping up. Trends live and die in a matter of months. Every time Heather and I go we always try to hit up a few of our favorite places that no one is talking about. 

Lobby Bar, Caesars Palace

This became the defacto meeting place when we go to Vegas with groups.  It is essentially the most central bar on the Las Vegas strip. They have an extensive cocktail list, their mixed drinks are very strong, and they even bring some snacks for you to munch on.  This is also one of the best places to people watch while in Vegas. During one of our nights at this bar Heather left her phone on the table and didn’t realize until the next morning, oh Vegas, anyways she let lost and found know it was missing and let them know what it looked like with no expectation of seeing it again. Fast forward a few weeks later and that cell phone showed up at our house in Birmingham, AL. Apparently, there still are great people in Las Vegas.

Nine Fine Irishmen New York, New York

If you took the most touristy Irish Bar in New York and placed it in a Vegas mega casino you would get Nine Fine Irishmen.  However, I do not come here because I feel like I am getting a Guinness in a traditional Irish setting; I come here for the band and the dancing.  The house band, Sin E Ri Ra, plays traditional Irish music, jigs, and even a few songs you can sing along to. During their performance, a traditional Irish dancer steps along with the music.  It’s a great atmosphere and definitely a great place to stop in, have a beer, and enjoy the performances.

Red Square, Mandalay Bay

As the name suggests, this is a Russian Themed bar that specializes in vodka and vodka cocktails.  This is the bar Heather discovered blue cheese olives and just how delicious they are in a martini.  Red Square is easy to find as a headless statue of Lenin is sitting outside. You can even do a vodka tasting in the 0 degree vodka vault.

The Oyster Bar, Palace Station

Cajun is a top 2 food group for me.  It’s tough to get decent Cajun food out west.  Whenever I am in Vegas I always go to The Oyster Bar to satisfy that Cajun craving.  With only about 20 seats (all bar seating, this is an actual bar) it takes an hour plus to wait in line, eat, and pay.  It’s definitely worth it. Try a pan roast (creamy, tomatoey, spicy, seafoody goodness) or a more traditional Cajun dish like gumbo or jambalaya.  My favorite dish is the jambalaya. The portions are enormous so an entrée is more than enough.

Enjoy Vegas.