Shop Every Look From My Trip to Cuba!

cuba style diary gingham dress

Take me back! I got so many of comments from you cuties on Instagram on my outfits, so I put together a comprehensive Cuba style diary of every look that I wore + items to shop! 

Cuba was such a magical experience. It’s a trip I will never forget and I strongly encourage you to go before it changes! I put together a Cuba travel guide that you should definitely check out if you’re the slightest bit interested in going there. Below–enjoy my Cuba style diary and get shopping!  😊


Vinales White Dress

My look for a day trip to Vinales! We took an old American car there to see the caves and visit a family-owned tobacco farm. You guys were all freaking out about my 🌈 rainbow 🌈 sandals, which you can shop RN!

Sandals // Target

Dress // Urban Outfitters, similar one here

Neck Scarf // Donni Charm

Sunglasses// Ray Ban

Cuba style diary black and white check dress H&M

Cuba Style Diary Black and White Dress

Cuba style diary black and white check dress gingham hair bow

Trip highlight: cruisin’ the city in a 1949 Ford.

Dress // H&M, beautiful version here

Scarf // Vintage, shop similar one here

Shoes by H&M, similar ones here

Sunglasses// Ray Ban

Cuba Style Diary Donni Charm

It was super hot this day. We spent the day eating breakfast slowly, exploring Habana Vieja (old Havana) and picking up artisanal gifts for our friends and family.

Skirt // Donni Charm

Shoes by H&M, similar ones here

Bodysuit from American Apparel

Backpack from Tulum but similar one here

Sunnies from Sonix

Cuba Travel Diary Rooftop centro havana sunset view

Cuba style diary Who What Wear x Target dress white ruffle dress

Sunsets on our rooftop.

Dress // Who What Wear x Target

Shoes // Chinese Laundry


Cuba style diary pink swimsuit

Beach day at Playa Santa Maria.

Swimsuit // Target

Cuba style diary fashion blogger Allison mcNamara tribal wrap skirt

Old Havana Tank Top Skirt Style Diary Fashion Blogger Allison McNamara

Our first day in Habana Vieja where we took a private walking tour through the city, (re)learning Cuba’s rich history.

Skirt // Vintage, shop similar ones here and here.

Bag // Uniqlo, similar one here

Top // James Perse

Sunglasses// Ray Ban

Cuba Travel Guide Red Dress in Cuba

Cuba Style Diary

I wanted something sweet and inspired for our visit to Hemingway’s house. Our first day and still one of my favorites.

Dress // H&M Studio, similar version here and here

Shoes // Chinese Laundry

Bag // Uniqlo, similar one here

Sunglasses // Diff Eyewear

Cuba Style Diary

Dusk in Centro Habana. 

Dress // Elizabeth and James, on sale!

Sandals // H&M, super cute option here

Did you enjoy my Cuba style diary? Let me know in the comments!

The Ultimate Cuba Travel Guide!

Cuba Travel Diary Travel Guide Havana


It’s hard for me to put into words my week-long stint in Cuba this March. The closet I can get to embody the spirit of what I felt and saw can best be defined as magic. For me, Cuba holds a special place in my heart. I have long been a fan of the prolific and inimitable Ernest Hemingway, and knowing that he spent a vast majority of his adult life in Cuba piqued my interest years back. That, coupled with the fact that we as Americans legitimately weren’t allowed there for the past 50 years made my desire to go and see and experience this magical, forbidden place even greater.

Cuba Travel Diary Blue Vintage 1950s care Cuba

While I was away, I got so many messages from you guys on where to go, what to see, places to eat… so I decided to do a comprehensive travel guide on my seven days in Havana. I hope my Cuba travel guide helps you plan your trip to Cuba. And please let me know if you have any magical spots I need to check out on my next trip there!

Cuba Travel Guide Red Dress in Cuba


Casa Particulars are basically AirBnB’s in Cuba. We booked one through AirBnB and man did we luck out! Our place was insanely huge and gorgeous. Two bedrooms, three bathrooms, three floors, a 70 foot wrap around patio, 10+ foot tall doors, a spiral staircase, a complete upstairs patio and an even higher third floor patio. We stayed in Centro Habana and this was the view we had from the street level, and below that is a view from our third floor balcony.

Cuba Travel Diary Centro Havana Streets

Cuba Travel Diary Rooftop centro havana sunset view

There are definitely pros and cons of staying here. Pros: close to everything and walking distance to Habana Vieja. It was nice not staying right in Habana Vieja because it’s so damn touristy and it’s right where the cruise ships let off, so every few days Habana Vieja was flooded with thousands of people! Centro Habana, where we were, is in between Old Havana and New Havana (Vedado) and our place was a stone throw away from the sea wall. I’d stay here again! Old Havana is beautiful and quaint too–the only place I wouldn’t want to stay is in Vedado.

Cuba Travel Guide Sea Wall Havana Cuba

The cons: not really anything however Centro Havana is in local territory and the locals don’t have a lot to do (but they are really friendly and harmless.) Therefore, they are up at all hours of the night and they are pretty damn loud. Also, no swimming pool which would have been nice on super hot days. If I had to stay at a hotel, I’d consider Hostal Valencia (hostels aren’t hostels in Cuba, they’re nice,) or somewhere with a pool.


Fabrica De Arte !!!! If you do one activity on my list, go here. It was so  much better than what I expected! It’s an insane art gallery filled with all different kinds of art, music, performances, movies–it really was stunning and my favorite thing the whole trip. Only open Wed – Sunday, go early.

Cuba travel Diary Fabrica De Arte Cuba

Walk along the sea wall at dusk, pure magic.

Be a tourist and take a ride in a classic car around town. Pick your favorite color and style and don’t pay more than 50 CUC for the hour.

Cuba Travel Diary Riding in Old Classic Vintage Car in Cuba

Hemingway House: I loved this so much! See Ernest Hemingway’s actual house outside of Cuba. About 35 minutes away and worth it. We had a delicious Hemingway Special cocktail at the bar and listened to salsa.

Cuba Travel Guide Hemingway House

Playa Santa Maria: close beach to Habana. Nice to get away from the city and relax. I want to host a Cuban beach clean-up because there was a decent amount of trash on the beach and it made me 🙁

Coconuts beach playa santa maria Cuba

Walking tour of Habana Vieja. We loved this! So worth it, and we learned a lot about Cuba’s history

Vinales: We did a day trip here. It’s 2.5 Hours in both directions. We went through the caves on a boat which was cool, went to a tobacco farm and learned how to roll cigars, and saw a botanical garden. The highlight here was our lunch. BEST MEAL IN CUBA! Paladar Barbaro, get the PORK. OMG!!!

Vinales White Dress

Cigar Tasting: We only did this in Vinales but I wish we had done it in Havana too. We went to a place right behind the Capitolo (you can’t miss it) on our last day, but it was closed!

Cuba Cigars Cuba Havana

Drive past the mansions in Miramar. The juxtaposition of poor v wealth in Cuba is fascinating considering it’s a socialist country

Walk around Centro Habana

Cuba Travel Diary Streets of Centra Habana Central HavanaShopping at Almancenes San Jose:  A huge market in a warehouse by the water near the cruise terminal. So much good, local, Cuba made goods here, including a ridiculous art section filled with some pretty incredible artwork. I brought home a killer abstract piece.


Despite what people say about the food being borderline terrible, we had some wonderful meals in Cuba, including the best fried pork Cassondra and myself have ever had. The biggest tip here is to go to paladars instead of state-run restaurants. Most paladars have the word “paladar” in the title, but at times, it can be hard to distinguish if a spot is a paladar or state-run. Paladars are family run and are Cuba’s small but steady pulse of capitalism. The families pay a tax to the government and they’re allowed to run their paladars like a business. Remember to not over order and try and finish your meals, because food in Cuba can be scare and some restaurants have to ration out their portions so they don’t run out.

One thing I wish I would have known is you need to  make reservations at the “hotspots” now. Who knew you’d need a rezzie in Cuba? I put * by the ones you should make a reservation at before you leave.


el Cafe (Habana Vieja)  Super cute breakfast / lunch spot located close to the Capitolo. This was by far my favorite breakfast that we had. Only downside, it was super slow, as most things are in Cuba, but at least the building is cute with original colonial columns and tile floors.

5 Esqinas Trattorias (Habana Vieja) We adored this place! We got a huge breakfast for 4.50 cuc, not bad considering there was a whole buffet, coffee, fruit, and made-to-order eggs and bakey included.

Cafe Francesa (Centro Habana) Easy place to grab coffee and pan dulce or some other delicious sweet treat.


Cafe Madrigal (Vedado)* The vibe here is so on point! An adorable paladar located in the second floor of a bright pink home with a very hipster, Williamsburg feel. Tapas style only, but we were obsessed with our Cuban chicken nuggets and tortilla with egg! Ambiance + piano player made this place a 10.

Hotel Saratoga (Capitolo) Where Beyonce stayed. Go up to the rooftop and check out the insane view!

Ambos Mudos (Habana Vieja) We loved the pina coladas so much here, we went twice! A gorgeous pink hotel where Ernest Hemingway lived in his 30s. A truly beautiful place, but very touristy. Head up to the roof for a gorgeous view of Havana and the sea wall, and order the pina colada special in the pineapple, you’re gonna die it’s so good!

Hotel Nacionale (Vedado) Spectacular hotel on the water where all the famous people stay. Worth it if just to walk around and enjoy the view. We almost stayed here and I’m very glad we didn’t. We also checked out the famous cigar room and the pool.


Sia Kara (Centro Habana) If you go to one restaurant on my list, go here! The food was phenomenal. This place has been around since the ’50s (or earlier) and has a really awesome island eclecticsm going on with the decor. At 11pm, they had the most fantastic salsa singer come in and we had so much fun singing and dancing the night away.

Los Nardos (Capitolo) A really delicious restaurant with all the local flavors, and very cheap. We went here for lunch but I’d go back but for dinner instead. The mood is very dark and vampy and makes you feel like you’re in pirates of the caribbean. There are 3 restaurants all next to each other, make sure you go to Los Nardos the whole way at the top.

El Dandy (Habana Vieja) Get the pulled pork tacos! We went here for both lunch and dinner. Cute and small.

Dos Pelotas (Centro Habana) The second best Cuban meal we had. Delicious little locals spot in Centro Habana that’s not to be missed! Get the fried pork pieces, mixed rice and yucca.

El Chancellero (Habana Vieja) Next door to el dandy. Amazing spot run by cool, young guys. Was the first “good” meal after a first day of not-so-good meals in Cuba. This place gets a crazy long line, but it’s worth the wait. I had the grilled fish and it was 💣

El Cocinero (Vedado)* Go here! But make a reservation. And go on a Friday or Saturday before going to Fabrica de Arte right next door. This place has an Asian-inspired menu and since I basically only really eat asian food at home, this place was very welcomed after a week of Cuban food. Ambiance is great too, sit on the patio.

Casa Migilas (Centro Habana) We were craving pasta and this place came to the rescue! Loved the decor of this spot too, colonial with a little bit of edge. I also had plantains and ice cream for desert and I’m still thinking about it.

We also went to: Rio Mar (in Vedado just OK) el Chansonnier (also in Vedado, just Ok.) Some spots we wanted to check out but couldn’t get in because we didn’t have reservations were Dona Eutimia and Paladar La Guardia (make recs for both!)


Since Cuba is a socialist country, they can decide what value currency has in their country. And since America isn’t on the best terms, they royally f*ck Americans on the exchange rate. 1 CUC = .87 American dollars. That being said, everything is still relatively cheap in Cuba. Drinks are 2-4 CUCs, meals are anywhere from 5 – 25 CUCs. The thing that will get ya are the damn taxis! Always negotiate. Also, Cuba has two currencies, one for tourists CUCs and one for locals Pesos. Pesos aren’t worth anything, 25 Pesos = 1 CUC. A major scam is that they give you back money in pesos instead of CUCs. CUCs have buildings on them and pesos have faces on them. This happened to me once, so annoying!


Ahh wifi. Legit hard to get. We went to Hotel Ingleterra and sat in the lobby using wifi cards that we peddled from guys off the street. Not very pleasant and also the wifi is slow, so try not to make it a priority unless you have to.

Another thing: download Galileo! It’s an offline map and you need to download the Cuba map specifically before you get there. You can search for restaurants and places then without wifi so you can get around! This was a huge lifesaver. 

My biggest piece of advice to you: go now, don’t wait. Go while it’s still fresh and untainted from American tourism… while there still isn’t wifi and cars from the ‘20s and ‘50s roll down Paseo del Prado by the plenty. Go while the markets are still filled with artisanal, hand-made goods made in Cuba by local craftsman. And see their ingenuity and creativity on how they reinvented, maintained, and created basic necessities from the meager products that were imported. I can’t wait to go back, but at the same time, I’m scared it will change.

Did you like my Cuba travel guide? Let me know in the comments along with any awesome places I should check out next time I’m in Cuba!

Travel Diary: Galapagos Islands

Española Island - Galapagps

Española Island, Galapagos

Traveling has always been a priority for me. Personally, I don’t think there is a better investment you can make for yourself than seeing and experiencing the world and it’s different cultures and climates. I’ve been lucky enough to visit places like Thailand, Alaska, all over Europe, the Greek Islands… even the Middle East. But, I still have an infinite amount of places I want to see and experience.

The destination for my most recent adventure? Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. And rather than call this a vacation, I’m going to refer to it as an expedition, because this trip was all about soaking in the wildlife in Charles Darwin’s infamous living science lab. As the birthplace of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, I had high expectations for the endemic wildlife we were going to see. And I’ll be honest, the Galapagos blew my mind. We did so much over the course of seven days. We started off in Ecuador, then made our way to Baltra Island, Galapagos. From there, we visited 6 islands: Espanola, Floreana, Isabella, Fernadina, South Plaza, and Santa Cruz. 


On Board Celebrity Expedition in our Penthouse

The Galapagos Islands are located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, and are two hours by plane. One thing I didn’t really understand before going on my trip is that there are only certain areas you can go solo. Only 30,000 people live on the Galapagos Islands and they are restricted to specific areas to protect the fragile ecosystem. We landed in Baltra Island, and then took a Zodiac boat to our Celebrity Expedition boat, which really is the only way to see the Galapagos Islands. Get this–boats can’t even dock at most of the outer islands! And at almost every island we visited, we were the ONLY people on the island. Crazy right? We were lead by a team of environmentalists, who are native to the Galapagos Islands, along specific trails to minimize our footsteps. To give you an idea, 98% of the Galapagos Islands are a national forest and are fully protected.

Ok so you’re probably ready to hear about which islands you should go to, right?

Punta Suarez, Española Island



This was hands down my favorite dry hike we went on. This island is absolutely incredible in terms of wildlife. It is the oldest island and is slowly sinking into the ocean, and has moved 100 miles since it was created at the main volcanic hotspot. We were greeted by thousands of marine iguanas, which aren’t the easiest on the eyes, or nose! And even though they look mean, they are harmless and are vegans, only eating green algae that grows in the cold Pacific Ocean water.

Sea lions are everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE in the Galapagos, and the site of them never gets old. They are literally puppies of the ocean and are so incredibly playful and vocal. We were there during baby season, so we saw tons of baby sea lion pups playing around.

We also spotted Albatross, Blue Footed Boobies, doves, sea gulls, and tons of bird species endemic to Espanola Island.

Blue Footed Boobie



Marine Iguanas






Gardner Bay, Española Island


You’ll notice that there isn’t much relaxation on this journey, mainly because going to the Galapagos is quite literally an expedition.  However, if you do want to soak up a little bit of relaxation, Gardner Bay hits the spot with it’s pristine, white sand beaches, calm waves, and loads of sea lions and pelicans. We snorkeled here, but it was a murky day and we didn’t see much. I also got stung by a TON of teeny tiny jelly fish, no bueno.









Cormorant Point, Floreana Island


If you are in the mood to snorkel or dive and see incredible marine life, this is the place for you! I’ll be frank, I’m a little scared of the ocean and snorkeling, but this was totally worth it. We swam with sea turtles, sea lions, and saw some of the most incredible fish I’ve ever seen! We even spotted a Galapagos penguin! Pretty incredible to see a little penguin swimming at the Equator.




Flamingos in the wild in Galapagos




Urvina Bay, Isabella Island


Isabella Island is the youngest of the Galapagos Islands and mainly covered in lava rock because it hasn’t had the chance to break down. Sand was nowhere in site here and there was a LOT of hiking on sharp rocks. However, the lava fields are really impressive and we even saw a white-tipped reef shark in one of the sea water coves!




White Tipped Reef Shark


Espinoza Point, Fernandina Island


This is another place to do a long dry hike. We spotted tons of Sally Lightfoot Crabs by the ocean, and then as we headed inland, we got to see brilliant yellow and orange land iguanas and a huge land tortoise!



South Plaza Island, Santa Cruz



One thing I noticed throughout my expedition in the Galapagos was the lack of greenery. I always imagined these islands would be lush and filled with tropical plants. That vision could not be farther from reality. In fact, the islands are covered in, what looks like, dead trees. Due to the lack of rain, these trees have adapted and have little to no leaves during the dry season, and only grow scarce leaves during the wet season.

However, South Plaza Island had the first form of pretty vegetation–impressive succulent trees and red succulent-type moss, creating a picturesque contrast with the bright blue ocean. I loved soaking up the views at South Plaza, definitely not a site to be missed!





Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island


My first reaction: ahh, people! Yes, Puerto Ayora is a real port and is has the largest population of people on the Galapagos Islands! This is also home to a huge percentage of the Galapagos’s land tortoises. This was really the only time we had to wander around a city and shop. We took a tour of the Charles Darwin Station, where we saw the tortoise breeding centers, separated by each island since each island has a different, endemic species!







Fun fact: Galagaos got it’s name from the land tortoises. Bishop Tomás de Berlanga is credited for naming the islands as “Galápagos.” The legend explains that galápago is an old Spanish word, meaning saddle, and is the shape of the tortoises shells found only on the Galapagos Islands!


We also had the chance to give back! We planted trees on Santa Cruz Island in hopes of rebuilding the endemic forest, which is essential for aforementioned Galapagos land tortoises and other species to survive!

Planting endemic trees to help restore the highlands on Santa Cruz Island in Galápagos 🌿🍃

A photo posted by Allison McNamara (@allisonmcnamara) on


Heading to the Galapagos isn’t for the faint of heart. You have to be a nature lover who is eager to see unusual wildlife and ready to hike and snorkel. I guarantee you will leave the Galapagos Islands changed, impacted by the beauty that is evolution. Getting to see these creatures that exist nowhere else in the world up close is a memory I will never forget.



With Love, From Chiang Mai





Chiang Mai Patara Elephant Farm








Chiang Mai Style


Hotel Rachamanka






Better late than never, right? I went to Thailand last November, but fell behind on doing posts for my travels. I took so many beautiful videos and photos, and had so many one-in-a-lifetime moments, that I felt not doing a post on it would be a missed opportunity. I put together a Bangkok travel diary and video, but stopped there. Chiang Mai was probably my favorite city that we visited in Thailand. Situated in the Northern part of the country, Chiang Mai is in the jungle and has unique food that differs from the beach coastal cities that typically come to mind when you think of Thailand. 

We did some of my absolute favorite activities here. We stayed at hotel Rachamanka, which was incredible and serene, and is the same place Angelina Jolie stayed when she visited Chiang Mai! Patara Elephant Farm came highly recommended as one of the few places that you can safely (for both elephants and people) ride elephants, and it was an experience that I will never forget! 

The other major highlight was the Chiang Mai lantern festival–one of the most incredible things I have ever seen! Watch my video for all the highlights, and enjoy some of my favorite snaps! xx

Glamping at El Capitan Canyon

El Capitan Canyon Cabin - 2

El Capitan Canyon - Cabin

el capitan inside cabin

el capitan canyon cabin-4

el capitan canyon - tent

el capitan canyon- tent 2

el capitan canyon yurt

el capitan bridge

bill wallace trail el capitan canyon

bill wallace 2


el capitan state beach

tent pic 2

I have always wanted to try “glamping,” and no, I’m not kidding. Believe it or not, I’m quite the nature lover — I grew up going to Outdoor Education camp in middle school, where we did everything from kayaking and pitching tents down the Colorado River, to night snorkeling off of Catalina Island to see bioluminescent plankton. In fact, science, specifically biology, was always my favorite subject growing up, and today, I’m always down to explore new hikes around LA or do something fun and outdoorsy.

I first saw glamping at El Capitan Canyon on the Real Housewives, and knew I had to try it out! On a whim trip to Santa Barbara a few weeks ago, Cassondra and I decided we were going to go for my birthday, and I am SO glad we did! I’ve had tons of people ask me about my trip since I returned, so I figured I should put together a blog post of all the things we did. It was truly magical, and I cannot wait to go back!


We arrived around 5:30pm. We took our time heading up the coast, stopping in Venture County for delicious tacos at XX (get the shrimp!) and at Gelsons to pick up last minute snacks. The first night, we unloaded our cars and decided to cook on an open fire. We brought a bbq, but it didn’t have instructions so we cooked on the racks provided over the campfire, and they worked just fine! We brought chicken and veggies for dinner, but the Canyon Market also has these awesome bbq kits that are totally price friendly! We also brought TONS of booze, but in case you forget or run dry, the market also sells beer and wine, and for cheap! Beer was literally $2.50. Also, don’t waste your money on the s’mores kit, bring your own crackers and chocolate.


We started off with breakfast down at the Canyon market. The coffee here was SO incredibly good. They had these cute mugs for sale that allowed you to get free refills during your stay, so we did that. Afterwards, we hiked the Bill Wallace trail (the longest and most rigorous trail on the property,) and it was honestly such a sweet surprise, my favorite part of the whole trip! It had rained the night before so it was incredibly muddy walking up the first part of the hike – it’s also a bit of an incline, so I wouldn’t suggest this for anyone who can’t handle walking 20-30 minutes up hill. However, the payoff is so worth it! After the incline, the trail flattens out and you get to walk along the most gorgeous green and mustard-seed hills, with a view that opens up to the ocean. The whole hike took about an hour. After that, we ate lunch at the market, and then proceeded to walk the Llama Trail to the llama farm. This was another huge highlight! The walk is short, and you get to walk with ocean views next to the organic farm. Not going to like, their aren’t many llamas – in fact, it’s actually a goat farm, they were so funny!

Afterwards, we headed back to camp for a little siesta. Then, we packed up the car and drove 5 minutes down to the beach (we could have walked, but we brought food and wine and it was drizzling,) to have wine and cheese and watch the sunset. We saw tons of dolphins, it was magical! 

We ended up being too lazy to bbq the second night, so we relied on our good old trusty Canyon market and ordered pizzas. We had a yurt, and our other friends had a cabin. Our yurt had way more floor space / open space in general, so everyone came to our yurt and we played Cards Against Humanity.


We had the same breakfast drill: Canyon market noms and coffee. We got on the road early, packing up camp and heading out before 11am. We headed to Solvang, the Danish capital of America, where we enjoyed some champagne and indulged in sweet danishes. After that, we headed to downtown SB for mexican food at Super Rica! All in all, it was an awesome trip and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a nature-filled, weekend getaway (without the hassle 😉

I hope this helped! Also, I put together a shopping gallery so you can shop similar outfits. xx