CARRY-ON ESSENTIALS (FOR A LONG FLIGHT)


Hey friends! If you follow me on Instagram you know that Tony and I were in St. Lucia a couple weeks ago for our tenth anniversary. It was an absolutely incredible trip, and one for the memory books. While being on the lush, amazing, incredibly beautiful island was magical, traveling so far was long and arduous, but I wanted to share a few things that helped. We flew out of San Francisco and into Atlanta. That was a five-hour flight. In Atlanta we had a three hour layover, and then another four and a half hour flight from Atlanta to St. Lucia. Coming home was even more of a beast, but I digress. I think what made the long travel times so bearable was my handy-dandy carry on, packed with the following…

All of those goodies fit beautifully into my carry-on bag, which is just a super large purse. That bag also had my wallet, passport and other travel documents, but still fit easily under the seat in front of me, and I didn’t have to carry on any additional luggage. Let me breakdown the specifics of what I carried on.

To keep boredom at bay I had a fully charged iPad, loaded up with a bunch of shows from my DVR (if you have the comcast app you can do that too, it’s super easy), my iPad charging plug and my iPhone charging plug. We flew Delta which has charging stations at every seat, but if the airline you’re flying doesn’t make sure to bring a Mophie. I also brought a brand new book that I was dying to read. (Spoiler alert – it was awesome! I also read The Nightingale on my vacation, which was heart breaking, and beautiful and I can’t recommend it enough.) With my iPad (and in-air wifi) I was able to watch my shows, return emails and of course Instagram. When I got bored of that I read my book, and before I knew it we were landing.

 

All that travel in a cooped up plane, with recycled air can get you funky. I brought wipes, deodorant, a super luxe lip balm, hand cream, eye cream, eye drops (my eyes always get dry in a plane), tylenol (just in case), Colgate wisps (basically little toothbrushes you can use anywhere, without water), a brush and micellar face cleansing wipes. I used all of these things travelling both ways, and reached my destinations feeling great despite 12+ hours of travel.

What is up with planes charging big bucks for crappy little snacks? $12 for a cheese plate? No thank you. I brought a box of individually packaged almonds and a bunch of protein bars. It might look like too many protein bars, but I figured my hubby would steal one or two. I was right. I highly prefer Detour Bars and Quest Bars. Both are super clean, and high in protein which keeps you full, longer.

My husband made SO much fun of me for packing slippers, but they were probably the best thing I packed. I snagged these ones at Payless because they are super light weight and could be shoved into any corner of my bag, but they were also super warm and cozy. I am always freezing on planes, and these helped big time! I got the neck pillow (also fuzzy and warm) and eye mask – this one is awesome because there is extra space above the eyes, so your eyelashes don’t get all smooshed down – at TJ Maxx.

We flew overnight on the first leg of our trip, and my eye mask was awesome. It may have looked like I was wearing a tiny bra on my head, but it was 100% worth it.

TJ Maxx and Marshalls both have great travel sections, make sure to check them out before your next trip.

What are some of YOUR travel essentials??

GIFT GUIDE FOR THE 30-SOMETHING WOMAN ON YOUR LIST

I have been asked by several people to please do my annual gift guides, or at least a personal wishlist. I’m not doing my gift guides this year for a handful of reasons, but decided to do a personal wishlist/something I think would be a perfect gift guide for any woman on your list, especially ages 20 – 50. This year (and really, every year as I’m getting older) it seems I would rather have one or two nice gifts, instead a handful of smaller ones. I’m loving quality over quantity, and I’m *really* loving personalized gifts. Below are some things I would love. Enjoy!

 

 

1. A personalized bag from Barrington gifts. I’ve only recently discovered this company (and don’t own anything by them, so can’t speak to the quality…) but I adore how you can truly personalize their bags. From the pattern, to the colors, to adding your initials. These are awesome. My favorites are the St. Anne, the Sonoma and the Belmont Cabin Bag (is that not the most chic travel bag ever, or what??)

2. Hanky Panky undies. I was recently given a pair of these at a “favorite things” party and they are kind of amazing. They are incredibly comfortable (seriously!!) and the material is really luxe. I feel fancy when I wear them, lol, and I now want every color!

3. Laura Mercier beauty products. Particularly the Sleek & Chic eye palette and the Petite Soufflés’ Body Crème Collection.  I worked for Laura Mercier years ago, and the makeup and body products are absolutely incredible. If you haven’t experienced them yet, head to your nearest Laura Mercier counter and check them out for yourselves, and please let me know what you think!

4. Personalized Signet ring by Stella & Dot. I sell Stella & Dot so I might be just a tad biased, but I think our personalized items are amazing. The quality and pricing is just incredible, and the turnaround/shipping time is unparalleled. I am getting this for myself and will wear it proudly!

5. Two-toned petite Kate Spade watch. I know the trend with women’s watches over the last few years has been oversized, but I am personally loving a more petite watch that you can wear with a few bracelets. I love the rose gold and silver KS one, but since this is a WISHlist I’m also digging this two-toned classic Movado watch.

6. The Hayden Satchel by Gigi New York (personalized, of course.) I have an Uber clutch by Gigi New York (seen here) and I love it. It is such a beautiful quality, and seriously – there is just something about having your initials on it that makes it extra special!

7. Tieks in any color, but especially Obsidion Black and Rose Gold Glam. These shoes are amazing. I own several pairs and am asked all the time if they’re worth the money. YES – worth every penny.

That’s what’s on MY wishlist, what is on yours?? Let me know in the comments section, so that I can check it out too!

SCENES FROM CHRISTMAS

Happy {almost} New Year, everyone! This year, as always it seems Christmas came and went in a flash. My girls are at such fun ages – Leila is almost 9, and Coco is 5.5 and they still both believe in Santa, and all of the magic of Christmas (though they of course know what the REAL reason for Christmas is!) This year Tony worked the days before Christmas, and came home on Christmas morning. I’m not going to lie – it’s kind of nerve wracking being Santa all by yourself. Every little noise I heard while laying out presents, and stuffing stockings made my heart drop, thinking I was getting caught. Luckily I didn’t! 🙂

I made the girls come into my room as soon as they woke up, and we watched “A Christmas Story” on TV while waiting for Tony to get home. Lucky girls didn’t have to wait too long, though. The second he walked through the door, he came into the room and said “Girls, Santa was here, get up get up!” and just like that they were excitedly running down the hall.

The big things they wanted (and received) from Santa were a sewing machine (Leila) and a Barbie pop-up camper (Coco) I can’t sew to save my life, so I am currently looking into lessons for Leila. She is fashion-obsessed, and wants to be a designer when she grows up, which is why she wants to learn to sew. Melt my mama heart!

All I really wanted was for Tony to for sure be home (and YAY – he was, you never know with his job!) but he also got me the other thing I really wanted – a new bike! (He also got me some awesome new Lululemon pants, which I’m calling my magic pants because I look pretty good in them!)

Ramon got everything he wanted too 😉  {so did Sugar, she’s just not a fan of the camera, unlike my boy}

We had my parents over in the morning for presents and brunch and then the girls were able to play with their new goodies for a few hours while I attempted to get my house back in order. In the afternoon we went to my brother’s house.

My girls and my brother’s girls. Love them all so much!

And this is me and my brother – believe it or not I was a whole foot taller than him up until his junior year of high school….

And my four.

I am not one of those people who dreads the holiday season, quite the opposite actually. Every Christmas night, for as long as I can remember this Sesame Street Christmas song has popped into my head. Always a little bit sad to say goodbye to the magic and beauty of the holiday season.

Not like things are slowing down one bit, though! Leila’s birthday is at the end of January, so we are in planning mode for that. In February I have my cousin’s bachelorette weekend, and the very beginning of March holds Coco’s birthday, and my cousin’s wedding, which I am a bridesmaid in. I’m planning on sleeping a lot after that 😉

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! And I would love to know – what was your favorite gift you gave or received this year!