Weekend Trip: Scottsdale, AZ

As  you guys saw from all my posts & stories, I spent this past weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona with my mom and sister. I had never been to AZ before so I was super excited! Even though it was a quick weekend, we packed in so many things, I just had to share! So here is a quick little guide to get a glimpse into my weekend.

Where We Stayed

Hotel Valley Ho – This is probably the coolest hotel I have stayed in. It was such a pretty hotel that was perfect for a weekend getaway. They say they are “historic charm meets modern luxury” and they hit the nail on the head with that description. It had two pools, a spa and boutique, picturesque views of Camelback Mountain, a great restaurant, and beautiful rooms!




Where We Ate & Drank

Diego Pops

This restaurant was my absolute favorite — it was amazing. First of all, the restaurant itself is SO cute. The decor was impeccable styled; a mixture of southwestern, art deco, and modern. If you know me, you know that is right up my alley.



We decided to go all out and order and order some munchies and a few cocktails. Their prickly pear margarita, a combo of 1800, respodado, agave, prickly pear, and a house made sweet and sour was to die for! It paired perfectly was the chips and guac.


Farm & Craft

We had drinks at Farm and Craft, which is right down the street from Diego Pops in Old Town. It was a cute little bistro that serves organic and gluten-free eats. They had kombucha cocktails which I thought was pretty cool (and super yummy)!



Olive & Ivy

We grabbed brunch from Olive and Ivy one morning, and it was SO yummy! Aside from the yummy food, they had the cutest patio right on the water canal.




If you love tacos and sushi has much as I do, this is the place for you. SomoMaya is a Mexican Asian fusion restaurant — I know it sounds weird, but you just have to try it to believe it. It also has the cutest decor, which is a plus!



Things We Did

Hike Camelback

Living in Michigan my whole life, I have never hiked a mountain like this before but it was so cool — the view was absolutely amazing! I also thought seeing what felt like hundreds of giant cacti was pretty neat. Fun fact: a saguaro cactus doesn’t usually begin growing arms until it’s about 15 feet tall and around 75 years old. The tallest saguaros are about 200 years old and have more than 50 arms!



Old Town Scottsdale

The bar district in Old Town Scottsdale was crazy Friday night — all of the bars and streets were filled with people! I met a bunch of friends down at El Hefe in Old Town Scottsdale, and it was super fun!


ASU Game

The last night of our trip we went to the MSU vs. ASU football game (the whole reason we went to Arizona), and even though MSU lost (still not bitter about it or anything), it was so much fun!


Overall, such a fun weekend! So happy I got to spend time with family, see my friends, and explore the desert! If you’re heading to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area anytime soon, you need to check out some of these places — you won’t regret it!

xx, Madi


But First, Coffee

Coffee. It’s on my mind more than I would like to admit. Whether I stayed up way too late writing a paper that I procrastinated (this happens more than I would like it admit too), or I just want an iced coffee because why not, we all have our moments when we just need a cup of coffee to lighten our mood.

Although it’s definitely a plus, it’s not just about the caffeine for me. One of my favorite things is finding different coffee shops to go to, especially cute local coffee shops. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Starbucks fan, but there’s just something about a local café. At each and every one there is a different aesthetic when it comes to decor and the type of people.

Freckled throughout the Lansing/East Lansing area are a number of great coffee shops, so I had trouble narrowing them down, but I did it and wrote about why I love each one. Read on to see my top four favorites!

Blue Owl Coffee

Blue Owl Coffee is the perfect hipster-esque cafe. This café is a lively, charming spot for a study/work session, or a social or professional chat. They have the whole exposed brick and raw wooden floors look, which is SO cute! The café also features different local artists and musicians, and has really good and unique options for coffee at super reasonable prices. A small selection for flavors for the lattes, but they have quite a few different coffee methods. They can do pour overs or an Americano, and they’re nitro coffee “cocktails” are so yummy. If you’re a coffee lover, you will love Blue Owl!

Drink of Choice: Night Owl Latte (latte with activated charcoal and lemon honey)


The Crafted Bean

This isn’t your typical coffee cafe. Since I love finding new coffee shops, I decided to go to The Crafted Bean on a whim. Best. Choice. Ever. The Crafted Bean isn’t your typical coffee café. They describe themselves as a “craft coffee bar that loves to push boundaries, make friends, and handle shit,” and I absolutely love that. They have a unique menu that consists of different kinds of black coffee, coffee cocktails, chocolate drinks, and teas. They also serve bubble waffles and toast, which I think is pretty cool. Like honestly, how many coffee cafés do you know serve waffles or toast?! The atmosphere is super chill–they have records playing constantly, and an original Nintendo available for customers to play! Along with their unique menu and atmosphere, their decor is unique as well. My favorite part of of their decor is their countertop–it has pages and quotes from The Great Gatsby (my favorite book!). This is a MUST visit if you are in the Lansing area.

Drink(s) of Choice: CCR and Pretty Boy Floyd (They are both so yummy, so I couldn’t decide on my absolute favorite.)

Food of Choice: Avocado Toast



Chapelure is another one of my favorites. They have two locations around the Lansing/East Lansing area–one right across the street from MSU’s campus, and the other one is in the Eastwood Shopping Center (this is the one I go to). They have all the typical drink options, along with some unique ones as well. The decor is very modern, and the shop is a huge open space with high ceilings, and plenty of seating!

Drink of Choice: Iced White Raspberry Truffle Mocha


Strange Matter Coffee

Strange Matter is a signature in the East Lansing/Lansing area. Every time I go there it’s always pretty busy, but it’s not hard to see why. It’s super close to MSU’s campus and it’s SO cute–it has that urban coffee shop vibe. The space is big and open, with lots of natural lighting, and a decent amount of seating. They offer the simple traditional espresso beverages, as well as hand brewed coffees and specialty teas. They also have the yummiest (and prettiest) doughnuts!

Drink of Choice: Iced Vanilla Latte

Doughnut of Choice: Vanilla Sprinkle Doughnut and Meyer Lemon Poppyseed


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What are some of your favorite, or go-to coffee shops?! I would love to check them out 🙂

xx, Madi