Packing Like a Pro

early morning flights require cozy jeans & a snuggly sweater

Over the past few years, my travel has increased quite a bit, which is perfectly ok with me. I love traveling and have learned there’s definitely an art in doing it well. For work or fun, I usually find myself on trips that last 3-5 days & if you can do it right, for that amount, you should never have to check a bag. See a few tips below for packing like a pro & ditching your checked luggage.

  1. Invest in good luggage. When I was shopping for a luggage set, there were a few specific things I was interested in. I wanted one piece to be suitable for carry on travel, I wanted it to be bright & recognizable ( ie: red) and I wanted to find a brand that was guaranteed (with warranty). I ended up with Victorinox which is ironically the brand my family of travelers has always used. These are other great brands that made the top of my list: Away (even charges your phone!) & Delsey.
  2. Make an itinerary/ packing list. If you have even a rough idea of what you’ll need to pack, it will eliminate most of the “just in case” outfits. For example, if you’re spending all day Saturday at a spa on your trip- no need to pack an outfit for Saturday during the day. If you know you’ll be outside in fall like temperature, pack a few items that can be layered.
  3. Channel the French. French women are notorious for keeping their chic closet’s tre simple with a few staple & iconic pieces. Pack simple pieces that transition from day to night, work well with other pieces you’re bringing or can be layered.
  4. Eliminate duplicates. If you’re staying in hotel, there’s a 99% chance you won’t need to pack your hair dryer (even though it pains me to leave my Drybar babe). Staying with your bestie for the weekend? She probably has a straightener/ curling iron and most of your shower essentials.
  5. Wear your largest pieces. If I’m packing my favorite wedges for the weekend, I’ll wear them to travel in. Winter coat? Carry it on with you. It could get chilly on the plane & if not, you can always stow in the overhead compartment. Taking your largest pieces out of your bag saves so much space for other necessities.
  6. Roll whatever clothing you can. I always roll my jeans, pajamas, cotton dresses anything that won’t wrinkle too badly, I find this to be a major space saver.
  7. Combine handbags. When carrying on a rolling bag, you’re still allotted one personal item. In this scenario, I usually pack a smaller purse and carry on a tote wth my purse inside + my book, iPad. For example, this past weekend, I took this tote as my “purse” but packed two smaller clutches for nights out.
  8. An extra bag. If I’m worried about purchases I’ll be making or know I may have a fuller bag on my return trip, I’ll pack a bag like this Lilly Pulitzer one. Folds completely flat & fits in those skinny front pockets. You can always pull that out, throw in your purse and a few other items and count it as your person item.
  9. Check the weather. Takes two seconds on your phone to know what Mother Nature will be up to at your destination. If you’re heading to a tropical beach vacation, you probably don’t need to pack more than one sweater or sweatshirt.
  10. Keep your toiletries bag packed & ready to go. If you’re carrying on, you know you have to keep your liquids small. I keep a toiletries bag ready & stocked to avoid any late runs to the CVS travel section. That way I never need to worry about what I have & can throw it in my bag the night before.

Hope this helps next time you find yourself packing up for a getaway!

Cheers

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Friday: Busy Life Update

Happy Friday! So I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet..though it feels that way. The past two weeks have been absolute, yet perfect, chaos.

Two weeks ago kicked off the beginning of what we’ll refer to as “wedding season.” I use quotations because this year, my wedding season consists of four weddings, in three weeks. For me, all of which have been in Ohio (yay home!)

Marcella, my little in Kappa Alpha Theta & one of my dearest friends, was the first to kick off these wedding festivities with her now husband, Dan. Their wedding was absolutely stunning as all of us twelve bridesmaids wore gold Amsale gowns with hues of purples in our bouquet, groomsmen’s vests and reception colors.

 

<gorgeous suspended floral arrangement by HeatherLily>

Last weekend Dave & I had to divide and conquer two weddings. Dave attended our friends, John & Ashley’s wedding in beautiful Greenwich, Connecticut while I flew to Akron to be the Maid of Honor in Alex’s wedding. Alex & her husband Brandon said their I Do’s in the most beautiful church in downtown Akron, St. Bernards & at their reception, the dance floor kept going even after the music had stopped. What a celebration! I was even able to surprise her when my MOH speech ended with an Ice, Ice Baby personalized rap. Her face was TOTALLY worth it.

After Al’s wedding, I flew to LA for a quick work trip but managed to squeeze in a little “me” time. More to come on that next week. On the wedding front, I’m so happy to say everything is moving along swimmingly. I even found my wedding dress! It’s so true what they say, “when you know, you know.” I couldn’t have been happier to work with the lovely ladies of Brides by the Falls.

To wrap up wedding season, for my third and final wedding, I’m flying to Columbus this morning to celebrate my friend, Lauren, who I met dancing with Ashland Regional Ballet. Over the years, I’ve seen her in a lot of tutus but I cannot wait to see her in a wedding gown!

Lots of great travel content coming your way next week!

Cheers

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

Happy Friday & official first day of fall. A few weeks ago, the east coast had our first taste of sweater weather. Of course, we ended up having a bit of a resurgence of warmer weather but that doesn’t mean my sweaters aren’t freshly stacked in my closet waiting for their debut on a crisp, fall day. For me, there are a few things that come with the first crisp breeze…

<crispness in the air always makes me want to stay in bed juuuust a little longer>

  1. Hot Tea. I normally drink green tea every morning as I’m not a coffee gal but it always feels a little different in the fall. On weekend mornings, I’ll leisurely drink a cup by our patio fire pit or snuggled on the couch with the door open.
  2. Switching up my Cooking Routine. I love fall vegetables. Perusing the farmer’s market when all the apples, and squash are in season is so fulfilling to me. I love, love, love this Sweet Potato Gnocchi recipe. It’s usually the first heartier, fall recipe I make every year. Plus.. SOUP!
  3. Holiday Planning. Once October hits, I’ve already picked up like two Bon Appétit magazines, they usually have a perfected turkey or gorgeous tablescape on the front. I love planning out the holidays; when we’ll get together with friends, little stocking stuffers for Christmas morning. While my mind doesn’t go straight to Christmas, this year I’ve promised myself, my gifts will be taken care of prior to December 15. No last minute scramble for me.
  4. Warmer Toned Makeup. If you haven’t noticed, I love deeper toned lipsticks and live for a good marsala or caramel lip. I’ll be sure to share some of my favorites this fall.
  5. Fall Football. In the midwest, football isn’t just a game, it’s an occasion. Tailgating is a must & if you’re watching from the comfort of your own home, snacks & lucky jerseys are a necessity. (Go Bucks!)
  6. Baking. Especially in the fall, pies are my absolute favorite. I also gravitate towards breads like banana, zucchini and if you don’t want to make anything from scratch, these breads from Williams-Sonoma.
  7. “Basic” Activities. I’m not sure when supporting a local farm became labeled as “basic” but yea, I do love picking apples, gathering pumpkins to carve, etc. Those local farms always have the best cider, too.
  8. Fall Fashion. Boots, vests, snuggly sweaters all make their way to the front of my closet & I couldn’t be happier.
  9. Autumn Cocktails. While I’m not a fan of PSL, fresh ciders or spiked apple ciders are my jam.
  10. Candles. I think my love of candles stems from missing a fireplace in our cozy apartment. In the fall, I always have a candle lit. For me, I always opt for lighter scents like snuggly sweater or fresh cotton.

What are you most excited about for fall?

Cheers,

Three Thrills by Thursday

Has anyone else been thrown off all week? I woke up Tuesday morning, thinking it was Wednesday & my days have been mixed up ever since. But we’re here! Thursday! Finally.

one.

Tuesday night I took a calligraphy class with the very talented Crafted by Anamarie. I have always loved calligraphy & thought it would be a fun girls night. Anamarie is so talented & incredibly helpful throughout the entire class. While I have a lot of practicing ahead of me, the letters are starting to build muscle memory, so here’s to hoping for a lot of lovely lettering in the next year! She also teaches chalkboard lettering classes as well. You can catch her in NYC or Stamford. Sign up here, you won’t regret it.

 

two.

I think part of my day-of-the-week mix up can be attributed to not getting a great night of sleep. Sleep is such an important factor regarding our health & wellbeing but let’s face it, sometimes eight hours just can’t happen. Here are ways to make it through those long days after a bad night’s sleep.

 

three.

Truth be told, the saying of “A Sunday Well Spent, Brings A Week of Content” really hits home for me. I love nothing more on Sundays to be in the kitchen, cooking, prepping food for the week or (embarrassingly enough) reorganizing the cabinets. It brings me a sense of solace. While I plan meals for the week, Sunday’s meal is usually a game time decision. Ravaging through odds & ends of what’s leftover married to a few of my kitchen staples. This week, we ended up with quite a delicious pizza. Plum & Prosciutto. I’m sharing the recipe (I use that term loosely as I admittedly never measure anything) below.

Plum & Prosciutto Pizza

What You’ll Need:

Stonefire Naan Bread
Fresh Mozzarella
Gruyere
Prosciutto
3 Plums (I used three smaller, European plums)
Arugula
(teeny bit of) Balsamic Glaze (I made my own, but this one is great to keep in your cupboard)

How To:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place naan bread onto baking sheet and add sliced mozzarella onto naan. If you don’t have access to fresh mozzarella, shredded would work, too. Grate some gruyere over top of the mozz and place in the oven for the cheese to melt, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove pizza from oven and add quartered or halved plums (depending on size) as well as a few slices of prosciutto. Place back in oven for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Once the cheese is nice & melted, remove pizza from oven and sprinkle with balsamic glaze. Add arugula to the top of the ‘za and…
  4. Enjoy!

Cheers!

My Seven Handbag Essentials

Today I’m sharing a few of the little staples I keep tucked away in my day to day handbag. While a girl can’t be caught without a hair tie, bobby pins or ear buds, these select few items are also in my bag at (almost) all times.

  1. Two different shades of lipstick. I always travel with at least one coral-ish color that could work with either pink or red as well as one darker, more fall-like color. Currently, these are my favorites: coral & nude.
  2. Neutogena makeup remover wipes.  If you carry lipstick in your bag, especially one that’s a bright color or stain, you should definitely carry these…. just in case.
  3. RXBAR. Whether I’m catching a quick train to a client meeting or need a little snack to get me over my afternoon haze, I love having my Blueberry RXBAR at hand. The consistency is thicker too, so I never worry about having it get broken up in my bag.
  4. Oil blotting sheets. You never know when you’ll need to get rid of a little shine. These are a few of my favorites. This one, this one & this one.
  5. PartySmart Pill. Some say these don’t work at all but I have used them for the past year & my morning-after nausea is always lessened when I take this little guy. All herbal so if nothing else, a vitamin.
  6. Emergen- C. You never know when you’ll start to feel sick & I swear by these when I’m flying.
  7. L’Occitane Hand Lotion. Nine times out of ten, I leave my apartment without lotioning my legs. I love keeping this near for dry hands or legs. I love it because it won’t leave you greasy & isn’t over scented.

What are you guys up to for the weekend? In two weeks, I have a three week span of weddings so I have some preparation for that. Bridesmaids dress alterations, gift shopping, etc.

Cheers

Three Thrills by Thursday

one.
<via Glossier>

Glossier. Over the weekend I stopped by the Glossier Showroom in NYC & picked up two of their lip colors: Jam & Crush. The store is as simply elegant as the rest of their campaign. I love these lipsticks because the color adapts to your own pigment, so each color looks different on every person. It has a creamier feel to it but appears matte after application. The lipstick itself appears more natural than a lot of other lipsticks I own, which is great when going for a less “done-up” look. I also cannot wait to try their other products!

two.

This week, for the first time, I dropped into Pink Soda, a great new blowout bar & full beauty salon in Stamford. I got their signature blowout which took only 45 minutes & lasted the whole weekend! Highly recommend.


three.

It’s no secret I love a good sweet treat. I contacted Hayleycakes and Cookies for these incredible Beyonce themed bachelorette cookies. Just following their Instagram makes me want to become a baker- though I could never even fathom having that much icing talent. Spoiler alert: the cookies taste even better than they look.

 

Cheers,

Chicago Bachelorette

Last weekend was one of my very best friend’s bachelorette in Chicago. Planning a bachelorette in Chicago is similar to planning a bachelorette in NYC, there are SO many good places to go with such little time. Here are a few places we popped into this past weekend…

Friday

We stayed right on Michigan Ave so we popped into Eataly for a quick lunch & did a little shopping. We of course could visit Chicago without getting the bride some deep dish at Giordano’s before heading over to Second City to start off the night with a few laughs. I highly recommend almost any show at Second City, they have trained some of the most highly regarded comics. Later that night, we sang our hearts out at Howl at the Moon and shimmied down to Three Dots & A Dash to end the night.

Saturday

Kicked off the morning at Summer House which is a bright instagrammable little spot with incredible brunch. After, we took a nice walk to the beach & caught some sun on what may have been the most perfect beach day. Since we knew we’d have a late dinner, we grabbed some small bites at Pierrot Gourmet and sips at 3 Arts Cafe (inside Restoration Hardware) before heading to Polish & Pour for manis & prosecco! We played some hilarious games as we got ready for dinner at Girl & The Goat– which was absolutely delicious. The escargot ravioli was my favorite. Perhaps the highlight of the entire weekend was dancing the night away at Celeste’s Disco.

Sunday

After groggily waking up just hours after we had fallen into bed, we walked down to Beatrix for some nourishment. Everything from the lemon pancakes to the chilaquiles are delicious and sure to kick any hangover.

So hard to squeeze in all my Chicago favs in one weekend, I’m looking forward to another trip this fall!

Cheers,