August 19, 2014

apps I love (travel).





I remember my first real international trip. I was in high school and was abandoning my family for a month in Europe with my english class. It was 2001. Facebook was barely a glimmer in Mark Zuckerberg's eye and the world had certainly never heard of an iPhone. I nearly lost all my photos when I left a bag of film in a drawer in a hotel in Italy. I missed trains because I struggled to read my map. I had no idea what anyone was saying 90% of the time. C'mon...I had to pack CD's! 

Flash forward to 2014, and on my trip to Thailand I could check my email in the jungle and post elephant selfies in the blink of an eye. I could call my parents and friends and see their faces. I got updates on the status of my planes, trains and automobiles. I ordered kao phad and tiger beer in Thai like a champ. I had to try to get lost

Long story short - things sure have changed. Travel has never been easier and there are tools literally at your fingertips that help make any adventure (near or far) a little more seamless. Here are a few of the apps I always go back to when I'm on the road. 

gate guru

Nothing is worse than having a long layover and spending half of your time just.trying.to.find.coffee. Gate Guru is an app I use every time I step foot in an airport. It can track your travel plans (thanks TripAdvisor!), but most importantly, it is a hub for just about any info you'd need about the airport you're in. Weather, flight updates, maps of the terminals, lists of what amenities are in which areas, and even tips from other users cracking secrets like where to get free wifi, the fastest security line and where not to get totally scammed on a taxi ride. You'll never struggle to find a stiff drink or a neck pillow in a rush again.


calm

I'm a sucker for a good sleep/meditation app. Maybe I have at least three on my phone right now. Don't judge. Calm is the perfect tool for combating the noise of a new city, thin hotel walls, noisy trains, your snoring plane neighbor or the giant Irish dude sleeping (loudly) two feet from your face in your dorm style hostel room (been there). You turn it on, and up pops a beautiful video of the oasis of your choice while nature-y sounds drown out the chatter. Just make sure you're plugged into a power source or you'll wake up rested but with a dead phone. 


waze

This app might be my favorite. I've converted at least a handful of friends into "wazers". A crowd-sourced traffic/navigation resource, waze uses information from other drivers to provide updates on real-time traffic flow, speed traps, accidents, etc. It also automatically navigates you around those problems to ensure you're taking the fastest route to wherever you're headed. Obviously this means it works best in cities where there are lots of people using it (hello, L.A.!), but the more you use it, the better it gets. You can also use it to share your whereabouts with friends and family. It's pretty great. Just trust me. 



this american life

Don't get me wrong. One of my top five favorite things to do in life ever is make situationally appropriate themed playlists. But even the best jams can get old on an epic road trip. That's when I turn to the This American Life app. I love it so much I've talked about it before. Packed with literally every podcast since it's inception, you can stream Ira & co constantly and never run out of new material. Nothing makes a road trip more enjoyable than really, really great story telling. Except a Lauren Keeler playlist. Obviously. 


xe currency

Nothing fancy, this app has saved me from severely blowing my travel budget at least a dozen times. It makes following the exchange rates for just about any international currency really, really simple. It converts everything for you, and beyond that it provides a profile on each currency to ensure you can avoid looking like a crazy tourist (most of the time). It's been a lifesaver! 



August 16, 2014

things I love (a great distraction // 15).



Hello? Anyone still out there? Man it's been a while! Trips have been planned, birthdays celebrated, weddings have been attended, good, good times have been had. Sorry about that. Without further ado, some of my internet favorites recently. 

Magic.

One hitch hiker I would definitely pick up.

Broin' Out

I want one. 

I'm really excited to watch this.  

love.lauren 

July 16, 2014

things I love (a great distraction // 14).



Sony launched 8 million flower petals into the sky. It was pretty epic

I'm so excited to see this moviethis movie.

The ins and outs of In-N-Out. Ha!  

Sound advice. Pretty great. 

Their new album came out today. And man is it good. 

love.lauren

July 6, 2014

things I love (a great distraction // 13).


nerd alert! I'm obsessed with this cool YouTube channel making pretty videos about science. yes, I said science.

the charted connections of rock. so cool.

this music video.

A campground I can DEFINITELY get on board with. 

I think I found my next adventure. Ha! 

love.lauren 

June 22, 2014

things I love (a great distraction // 12)

one of my favorite pieces at PhxArt

guh. cutest

a pretty song

pandas. that's all. 

on love

Depth over Distance

love.lauren 

June 10, 2014

shops I love (etsy // 2).

It's been a while since my first list of etsy favorites. I feel like every day I'm stumbling across a new shop full of things I needtohave. Here are a few of my very favorites right now. 



Stefanie Sheehan. These rings. I want every single one. In multiple. Stefanie creates the most wonderful, tiny rings that are just my very favorite thing. I have the gold spike ring and I wear it every day (and get complimented on it. every day). I think the open ring will be my next treat. 


Swim Club. I got some of these bath salts as part of my blogshop goodie bag and I never looked back. They are in awesome packaging, work like a charm, and look just as cute on the shelf as they do in your tub. Do it. 



Small Gunns. These candles. UGH. They smell so good. And they look so good! And. They are in reusable whisky glasses. Everybody wins! 



Little Korboose. This shop sells everything from onesies and robot pillows to prints, but I'm a HUGE fan of their tea towels. I have the Arizona print (naturally) but I've had another handful of them sitting in my shopping cart for a good month. 



Sharp Tooth Studio. C'mon. These banners are just the cutest. What else is there to say? 

I can't say enough good things about etsy. It feels like a special treat when your order arrives carefully and thoughtfully wrapped by the person who made it. Did you know you can buy etsy gift cards? I got one for a recent birthday and it was one of my favorite gifts! 

love.lauren 


June 8, 2014

shops I love (mouth).


I love a good snack. 

Especially something a little unique. The kinds of things you find from random cafes and farmers markets when you're in a new town and you wish you had bought way more than you did. 

When I read about Mouth a while ago, I knew I had to give it a shot. Selling "indie food", Mouth delivers all those great treats you don't come across every day. 

Their online shop sources the best of indie food, shares info about where it comes from, and brings it to you, no matter where you are (although I don't recommend any artisan chocolates delivered to your Arizona front porch in June, rookie mistake). They sell hard to find spirits and wine, delicious cheese and crackers, and even have a "cookies every night" subscription service. I repeat. Cookies. Every. Night. Ha! 

On my first attempt I got my favorite pickles from Detroit (yep, I'm that girl that orders pickles on the internet) and brown butter cookies from a bakery in NYC. Everything was delicious. And who doesn't love cool packaging and a free tote bag? 

Anyway. Whether you're looking for a unique gift for someone you love or you just want to #treatyoself, I definitely recommend giving Mouth a try! 

love.lauren