What I’m Packing: A Weekend Road Trip

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I’m a big believer that always having something to look forward to is a great way to motivate yourself through the sludge of the week.  Since we work during the real-person weekends, Dylan and I consider Mondays and Tuesdays our weekend.  This “weekend” we’ve decided to take a mini road trip and head to Western Massachusetts to go hear Gloria Steinem speak (eek, I’m so excited), visit some dear friends of ours and stop by some of our favorite spots from our boarding school days.  I’m particularly looking forward to eating at our pre-prom taco spot and my favorite bookstore  in the entire world.  Since I’m already thinking about what to pack, I  thought I would share with y’all a little bit about my weekend-away essentials.

The Perfect Packing Tote– When it comes short road trips, I’m a big fan of packing all of my stuff into a giant tote rather that zipping it up in a smaller duffle or a piece of luggage.  When I’m riding in the car I’ll often want to grab something like a scarf, hand creme or a snack and it’s a pain to rifle through a perfectly packed and zipped bag.  I love this tote (pictured above).  Not only is it huge, it’s also got giant pockets all the way around.  I’m able to fold up all of my clothes and leave them undisturbed in the middle and pack my toiletries and all my other goodies I might want during the ride in the easy-access pockets.

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes-  I have to admit that, when it comes to clothes, I’m a bit of an over-packer.  I like to have options and feel prepared.  To avoid looking like this dude, I try to pack versatile pieces that are comfortable and can be dressed up or down depending on the the plan for the day.  I pretty much never go anywhere without at least one of my denim shirts. (I’ve had this one forever and it’s only gotten better with time.)  I also always bring two pars of pants, usually jeans, because spills are eminent in my life.  A scarf is also a must for me because I’m constantly cold.  Plus, it can double as a blanket, makeshift pillow or even an eye mask.  Layering is pretty key for me during any trip so my jean jacket is a frequent travel companion.  Lastly, I always pack two pairs of shoes: one neutral pair of sneakers that will go with everything and one pair of nicer boots or sandals that can elevate any of my outfits.

My Not-So-Big Beauty Bag- I like to keep my beauty routine pretty brief when I’m on any vacation so that I’m not stuck in the bathroom for an hour in the morning.  That being said, I do have a few must-haves.  I bring my face wash, cleansing brushtoner,  moisturizer, and a spot treatment.  I also bring my own Dove Beauty Bar.  Hotel soap usually dries my skin out and makes me itchy and there’s something about the smell that makes me feel so clean and comfortable.  I’m a pretty big fan of bringing some sort of brightening mask because traveling always makes my skin look a little tired.  These sleeping masks from Sephora are fantastic and super reasonably priced.  I never pack a toiletry bag without perfume (I’ve been loving this floral one lately).  It’s the last thing I put on when I get ready and it makes me feel totally pulled together.  Finally, I hate washing my hair when I’m only gone for a weekend; If I do that then I have to bring a hairdryer and it’s so clunky and takes up so much space so dry shampoo is a must.  This one is my tried and true.

Not Pictured Needs

Whether I’m going to be gone for two days or twenty days I always have a book.  Here’s my latest read.  Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Hand creme is another important bag essential.

What are your musts for a weekend away?  Anything you do mid-drive to make the drive go by?

Do You Talk to Strangers?

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Lately, I’ve been going to my local coffee shop to do my job applications.  It makes me feel like I’m actually getting something accomplished by getting ready and heading out the door versus staying in my PJs all day.  Maybe it’s been serendipitous, but for the past two weeks, I’ve sat next to the most interesting people having the most interesting conversations during my coffee shop time.

Usually, I sit there with my earbuds and sip my very large latte while hoping that they don’t realize I’m definitely eavesdropping.  Then there are other times that I can’t help myself.  Someone says something funny and I laugh or they debate an answer to a question that I know and I chime in.  Sometimes it leads to a great chat and sometimes it’s a brief exchange but either way, I enjoy it (I hope they do too).

It might be because I’m still getting used to living in a new place where all my friends aren’t just a phone call away. Is that it?  Am I just a friendly yet friend-starved coffee shop patron?  Or is this forming habit making me seem like the neighborhood’s new crazy coffee lady?

Let me know what you think.

P.S. If you’re ever in the Boston/Brookline area you absolutely have to check out these two places.  First, Tatte.  There’s something for everyone and not a bad item on the menu.  Next is Pavement Coffee House.  Their dirty chai lattes are both incredible and incredibly large.  You’ve also got to get one of their multi-grain everything bagels.  SO good.  Plus, they’re both great places to strike up a conversation with strangers…

 

Have a Wonderful Weekend

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Hi everyone!  Sorry I’ve been gone but I decided to slip away for a weekend and take a spring break of sorts.  How’ve you been?  Any big plans for the weekend?  I plan to continue the job hunt and and get to work on a line up of some super great Monday morning posts for all of you.  Here are some links I’ve collected during some inordinately long layovers and wonderfully long coffee breaks.  Happy clicking!

Me and the boyfriend made this seriously fantastic curry dish when we got back from a weekend away.  It’s super simple and yields amazing leftovers for curried chicken salad.  Yum.

You absolutely HAVE to watch this truly hilarious skit with Christopher Walken from SNL. A friend showed it to me this past weekend and I don’t remember the last time I laughed that hard.

Speaking of googley eyes, here’s this.

I found this Always commercial the other day and couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a (some would say) completely irrational fear of the zombie apocalypse.  Needless to say, I had to take this quiz to find out whether or not I would survive.  “You would survive longer than most” isn’t a sufficient answer for me.

I plan to watch this documentary this weekend.  Can’t. Wait.

Can we talk, really quickly, about how insanely gorgeous this leather jacket is? Okay, thanks.

You can eat your way to a better night’s sleep according to this article.

If you’re going through Making a Murderer withdrawals, this podcast just might be able to get you through.  Best listened to during the day if you live alone or just live in constant fear of murderers…

Check out all of these random yet awesome beauty tools.  I love the brush mat.

Hope you enjoy all these lovely links and I’ll meet you back here Monday. Sending you kisses and hugs and tons of coffee in mugs.

A Friendly Reminder

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Just a friendly reminder to all my smart, wonderful readers that tomorrow is Super Tuesday.  I can’t encourage those of you in states that participate enough to vote.  Yes it maybe be a bit of a nuisance to leave work and wait it line but grab a cup of coffee, bring a good book and just do it.  Your opportunity to vote for a presidential candidate is just as frequent as leap year.  You get a whole extra day today, surely you can spare an hour tomorrow!

And The Award Goes To…

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I don’t believe that this is a place for me to get political because I want this to be a space that everyone loves to come and click around and read, so I’m going to do my best to stay as neutral as possible but I just have to talk about The Academy Awards last night.  Let’s start with the light stuff first.  Can we talk about those gowns?  Please?  I really loved Rachel McAdams in August Getty AtelierEmily Blunt pregnant and in PradaOlivia Wilde in Valentino, and  Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton made me absolutely melt with fashion envy.  Which one was your favorite?

Okay, now let’s  talk about the other stuff.

I really enjoyed watching the Oscars last night.  I was blown away by how many people of such high cultural esteem took the opportunity to deliver important messages of social, environmental, and thus, political justice.  Whether it was Chris Rock addressing the elephant in the room, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy empowering women around the worldJenny Beavan and Leo highlighting the importance and reality of climate change, and perhaps the most moving, Vice President Joe Biden’s powerful introduction followed by Lady Gaga’s emotional and poignant performance addressing sexual assault.

Maybe you enjoyed watching or maybe you felt uncomfortable or maybe you did both of those things.  Feeling uncomfortable is good, it increases the likelihood of change.  Complacency looks good on no one.

Night and Day Part Deux

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The first part was such a hit and I had so many wonderful responses, I wanted to make sure I got to share the rest them with all of you! Here they are, enjoy!

The Night Before

Ellie, 24, Boulder, CO, Current Job: Web Developer, Dream Job: I would love to start a “dream project” of designing interactive games for children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

My night before is usually pretty routine but can vary night to night, starting at around 5:30pm. I get home from school, and then normally Aaron (my live-in boyfriend) and I walk to the gym, where we spend between 1-1.5 hours doing cardio and lifting. Then we go home, make dinner together, eat together (either talking or maybe a tv show), clean  up the kitchen and finish the nightly chores, and then I usually spend a few hours doing homework and web design, then around 10:30 we head to sleep. Before bed I do my night time yoga/stretching routine. I do use pinterest quite frequently when I go to bed at first, but I limit myself and around 11pm I pick up whatever book I am reading currently and fall asleep reading. I usually have my cat on my chest so it’s a navigation game too.

Emalie, Apopka, FL, Current Job: Actress, Dream Job: Actress or Casting Director

Describing my routine is a bit difficult because every day is different. Sometimes my call time for a shoot is 7 AM and other times it’s 10 PM. The only three things that remain constant are:

1) I get all of my clothes ready for the next day. This includes the outfit I plan to wear when I walk out the door, as well as backup clothing in case the director I’m working with doesn’t like my first choice. It also includes extra shoes and a lot of jewelry.

2) Sleep aids. If I can sleep in, I skip these, but they’re usually necessary. Like I said, my schedule changes daily so my sleep patterns are all over the place and melatonin is my go-to. I also keep Ibuprofen PM handy for those times that I have to be up at 3 AM and my body refuses to fall asleep before 8 PM.

3) I fall asleep listening to Netflix after playing a game on my iPhone. I have always suffered from anxiety so if I don’t give myself a distraction, I’ll lay in bed panicking about being late or forgetting something the next day. Lately I’ve been playing 1010! and then turning on Sense8, but the show changes frequently.

Morgan, 32, South Lake Tahoe, CA, Current Job: Associate Transportation Planner, Dream Job: City Manager

  • I make my lunch
  • I pack my gym clothes
  • I drink tea
  • I clean the kitchen

 

Day Of

Ellie

Depending on the morning, I will get up and do an at home work out for arms or abs or something similar while Aaron uses his indoor bicycle trainer, and we watch the news.  I always wake up and drink at least 8 oz of water first, but I’m not a huge breakfast fan. I usually just eat a protein bar or I make “healthy protein cookies” the night before for a grab and go breakfast.  I am ashamed to admit that before I even get out of bed, I’m checking social media. But it is usually short lived because Kitty is a very demanding individual when she’s hungry  Do you try to relax? While I’m checking all the social media I do some morning yoga in bed.  Since I go to the gym the night before, I shower at night so it’s more of a “wash my face and put on makeup” to wakeup. I have black out curtains, but once I’m out of bed I open them all the way because we have some beautiful sunshine that pours in.  I always open my blinds to let the light in and listen to the news while I drink my coffee and check my e-mails.

Also, one of the things that makes my life easier, is that I have a schedule of things that need to be done on each day. Each day is a different laundry day, so everything gets done at least once a week, and vacuuming happens 3 times a week, dusting once a week, etc. And that just makes life seem more manageable when I have something that I can physically look at for directions when I feel overwhelmed. I also have a daily “journal page” that I fill out every day

Emalie

Unfortunately, the first thing I do when I wake up is hit snooze. I usually set my alarm 30 minutes early to give me time to hit snooze once or twice, then check emails and Facebook. I get a lot of my acting gigs through Facebook groups, so I painstakingly scroll through dozens of casting notices every morning to see if I am eligible for any roles.

I am the type of human that is always hungry, so breakfast is a necessity. If I’m running late, I pop a half cup of oatmeal and frozen blueberries in the microwave and then eat them in the car. On the rare occasions I have extra time, I’ll mix 1 regular egg with 4 egg whites, scramble them, and eat them with toast. I also usually end up eating breakfast twice when I have the time: once at home, and once in the car. I get bored while driving, so I like having food to keep me occupied at red lights. Did I mention I get hungry a lot?

The rest of my morning routine is based on what my plans are for the day. If I am responsible for my own makeup and hair (like if I have an audition) then it takes me anywhere from 1 hour (if I am just doing makeup) to three (if I have to curl my hair and/or shower) to get dolled up. If I’m not being fed on set, I also pack a lunch. My favorite days are when I will be having a makeup artist and meals provided while filming, so all I have to do is wash my face, brush my teeth, and leave.

I also have a lot of days off… the term “starving artist” is popular for a reason! On those days I sleep as late as my body will allow. I’ve never been an underachiever so I strive for 12 hours 😉 then I get on my computer and check audition notices, update my resume, and otherwise try to be as productive as possible.

Morgan

I like to cuddle for a while, and then get the dog on the bed and cuddle him. I jump in the shower to wake up, unless my boyfriend does before me. If he does, I cuddle longer with Gruff, then make coffee, a smoothie, and Tom’s lunch. Tom and I eat Cherrios, and drink coffee, while Tom reads us the news.

 

Night and Day

I feel like there are endless articles about the routines of highly successful women that are already established in their careers but none about the highly motivated and really inspiring young women that are paving their own way to success.  I decided to ask some of the super inspiring and motivated young women that I know to share their evening and morning routines to get some new ideas for highly effective habits.  Let me know what you think and share your routines too!

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Clareese, 24, Orlando, Florida, Current Job: Gallery Consultant, Dream Job: Mogul

I tend to get out of work around 7 or 8pm have gotten into the dirty little habit of going out to dinner almost every single night. Turns out that I will pay any amount to avoid having to deal with ingredients, cook times, and dishes. After dinner I go home and if it’s not too late I like to unwind even more with some Netflix. When I’ve watched my fill of home design shows or Wisconsin-based murder mysteries I brush my teeth and wash my face. I always put away any clothes I left laying out earlier in the day and tidy up my workspace and vanity. I also like to read a bit before bed to give my eyes and brain a break from all the screens I’ve been staring at all day. When I can’t keep my eyes open anymore I double-check my alarm, turn on my sound soother, and hit the lights.

Julie D., 26, New Smyrna Beach, FL Current Job: Executive Assistant, Dream Job: Entrepreneur & Writer

At least 30 minutes unplugged from tv, laptop, phone before “lights out” guarantees my best night’s sleep. I make sure to complete my skincare ritual so I feel my best and look my best the next morning then I drink hot decaf tea or hot water with lemon to relax and hydrate.  Lastly, I set my phone on silent – except alarms. You can’t be your best self if your REM is being interrupted by texts and calls. As an executive assistant I get texts from our CEO at all hours of the night. Thankfully she doesn’t expect me to answer until 7am.

Erin, 25, Orlando, Florida, Current Job: Graduate Student and Graduate Research Assistant, University of Central Florida Sports Business Management, Dream Job: Analyst for Major League Baseball Franchise

My job is in the sports industry, so regular hours are not a thing for me. Depending on game schedules, I sometimes work until 10:00 pm. On particularly long days, I like to come home and go for a run to unwind. I recently bought little lights to attach to my shoelaces so I can run in the dark and not be worried – this was by far my best purchase in a while. After unwinding, I get ready for the next day. I don’t like to feel rushed in the morning, so I prepare everything the night before. I lay out my clothes and put together my workbag. I also prepare all my food for the next day – typically a smoothie for the morning, a salad for lunch and a piece of chicken and some vegetables for dinner. I always have nuts, berries, and clif bars to bring with me since I never know how long I’ll be away from the house – these snacks are my savior! Before finally settling into bed, I stand in a hot shower to relax and ease out all the day’s tension.  

Olivia, 24, Washington, DC, Current Job: Key Leader at Lululemon Athletica, Dream Job: Special Agent

Because I’m an early riser, I pack up my duffel with my yoga and CrossFit gear, my clothes for work, my laptop and anything else I will need for the day. I typically take a bubble bath before I get in bed.  It warms me up and also helps me to unwind after a day of running around and dealing with difficult customers. Recently, my boyfriend and I have made an effort to lessen the use of laptops, phones and iPads before bedtime so we will usually read in bed (currently loving The Mulberry Bush and When Calls the Heart) for a while before turning in.

Ashley, 24, Boston, MA, Current Job: Law Student, Dream Job: Judge on the U.S. Supreme Court

I am terrible at sleeping; it is almost impossible for me to do! I usually try to get my work done at my desk and try not to do homework in bed. Since I already have a hard time sleeping, I try really hard to associate bed only with resting. One thing I can’t do is leave a mess; I have to make sure my sink is empty of dishes and my floor is empty of clothes. I like to take my showers at night because I don’t like to carry the dirt of the day into my bed. I have a very active mind and it’s hard for me to shut it off. I need my room to be completely dark (I have a sleeping mask!) and I need a fan on for white noise. I am not terribly strict about electronics in bed, sometimes I watch episodes of something familiar for background noise that I don’t feel I have to pay attention to.

Julie M., 25 (OMG when did that happen), Washington, DC, Current Job: Public Relations Specialist, Dream Job: Director of Communications/ Crisis Communications Consultant 
I try and go in my room and separate from my lovely roommates about an hour before it’s time to pass out. I like to check email one last time and flag things that I may have missed or really need to jump on the next morning.  Winter is a new thing for me so I compulsively check the weather and lay out my outfit the night before with approximately 6 “what-if” options. I also pack a change of shoes because my second biggest fear in life is tumbling down the escalator at the Pentagon Metro.
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Clareese

Disclaimer: I have a pretty cushy job situation in that I never really have to be at work earlier than 2pm. So sorry.My alarm goes off at 8am every morning and the first thing I do is turn on the Keurig before brushing my teeth, washing my face, and slathering on more eye cream. By the time that’s done with, my coffee is ready (thank goodness because I don’t have the brain power for anything more at this point). While I’m not a fan of the snooze button I am all for crawling back into bed with my coffee while I scroll through Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, and my email. And then I always, always make my bed. I feel like it really starts your day right (and solidifies your decision to get out of it) and it only takes a minute or two. After that I eat breakfast while I scan the New York Times and BuzzFeed; because while I need to know how the Iowa Caucasus went down I ALSO need to know what kind of doughnut I am. When I finally figure out that I’m a strawberry-glazed doughnut, I clean up around the house and then it’s time for a work out. I like to work out about five times a week and in the mornings and only the mornings so if I miss my 10am-11am window a work out is probably not going to happen. It’s either yoga or the Tracy Anderson Method . When all of that is said and done, I shower before figuring out what I’m wearing to work which is pretty easy since it’s almost always head to toe black. And with that and a spritz of Jo Malone, I’m out the door. 

Julie D.

I Drink 8oz of water first thing when I wake up and I don’t skimp on breakfast. I typically have a hard boiled egg, berries with yogurt, and cereal with almond milk. the next step is to get outside – ideally to workout, but on the days I simply can’t for whatever reason, a brisk walk with the dog is still a must for a good start to the day.

Erin

I have a very specific morning routine. I wake up at 5:00 am and immediately make myself a mug of hot water with lemon and honey. Part of my job requires managing my boss’ social media account, so while I drink my lemon water I search for inspirational or controversial sport stories to post throughout the day. By 6:00 am I am out the door for my run or morning workout. By the time I finish my workout, I’m ready for a big breakfast to help start my day and get down to work!

Olivia

I’m usually up at 5 am to get to CrossFit or a hot yoga class with my coworkers. I’ll fill up two bottles of ice-cold water and that will usually fuel me through my classes. On the drive over, I’ll listen to the news and after class I’ll head to my favorite juicer to get my morning Super Green smoothie. I have admin time each morning as Director of Digital Engagement, which is when I’ll check and respond to emails, read each of my favorite blogs for inspiration, and then head over to our Facebook page and try to put together at least one product post or community update before hitting the store floor!

Ashley

I am just as bad at waking up as I am at going to bed. Habitual snooze-button masher, party of one! To offset that, I usually set an alarm about 2 hours before I need to leave (But normally wait until around 1 hour to actually get out of bed!). I start my day off with making coffee in my French press  and checking my email. Sometimes I like to make bulletproof coffee, which is adding butter and coconut oil to your coffee and blending it. It sounds weird, but it’s creamy, delicious, and keeps you full and alert.

I usually wake up to around 20 emails just from over the night. I’m treasurer of the Student Bar Association at my law school, and oversee budgets for around 100 different organizations.  After I get my coffee and check my emails, I take my dog for a walk (Or as I like to call it, a “promenade”). It’s about 10-15 minutes long, but it helps wake me up and lets me bond a little bit with my dog, Ringo. Then I pack a breakfast to take to school because I’m not interested in eating right when I wake up.  If I’m staying on campus through lunch, I’ll try and pack a homemade soup.  I like to use mason jars so that the seal is tight and there’s no spillage in my bag. Once I’m all packed up with my food and my books for the day, I’m ready to go!

Julie M.

I wake up, turn on a light (I have no windows, fun fact about what the word “den” means in DC) and check the social media I manage for my job first thing, because the general public is coo-coo for cocoa puffs and likes to comment mean/explicit/political things overnight. Then personal Instagram / twitter because you need the balance of relatable memes and overnight news. 
I then drag myself to the bathroom, & turn on a podcast while I get ready. Hair, makeup, clothes on. Check weather again, brew coffee, run out the door begging my roommate to lock it because I am always late for the shuttle or can’t find my keys (because winter means quadruple the amount of pockets.) I commit the cardinal sin most mornings and skip the food because why take 10 minutes to cook eggs when you could be burrowed and warm in bed.
I can’t stand mornings, so I do a task and reward myself with the little things. Like congrats, you did it you actually got up. Here’s a podcast to keep you entertained and thinking about someone else’s life and problems. Curled your hair AND did your makeup….Kcups all around.
I hope you all enjoyed reading these as much as I did.  I definitely have picked up a few ideas to incorporate into my routines.  What do you think?  What are your morning and evening keys to successful and productive days?  Here’s a post from the past you may enjoy too!

 

Leave a Message After the Beep

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Do you ever save voicemails?  I do.  A short and sweet message from the boyfriend, an encouraging voicemail from my mom, a quick fifteen second blurb from my best friend that is always sure to make me laugh when I need it most; I save all of my favorites.  This year for Valentine’s Day, CNN did a special project called “Love Story”.  They provided a phone number and asked people from all over to call in and leave a voicemail message about love.  The moment they met their soulmate, a chance encounter with a perfect stranger or even the one that got away.  Go check them out, I promise you won’t regret it.  What’s your most memorable love story?

Being a Human is Hard…

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… but I think being an adult human is harder.  Fortunately I discovered the Society of Grownupsa company that works to help young adults with financial and career planning.    They offer classes, supper clubs and even host daily walk-in times so that you can drop in just to get some quick advice.  They also have a truly excellent blog.  While they are currently only located in the Boston area, they’ve just announced that they will be expanding and opening 10 more locations throughout the nation.  Their next stops include New York and Philadelphia.  Even if you don’t have a soon-to-be location near you, you can still sign up to receive their news letters and browse their web.  I wouldn’t dane to say that I understand how to plan for retirement or a down payment on a house, but it’s nice to know that there are resources that can show me the big kid ropes.  How cool does this sound?  Do you have a resource like this near you?

How to Holiday

If you haven’t already paid a visit to Pure Wow’s site, I highly recommend you do.  It’s got all kind of articles about things you never knew you needed to know.  You can also sign up for daily e-mails which I’ve come to look forward to.  This week, Pure Wow sent me this wildly helpful list of suggestions on how to be perfectly prepared for the Holidays.  I particularly loved the suggestions to write out a master gift list (I’m a lover of lists after all) and to make New Year’s Even Plans ahead of time.  I always seem to forget to do it and making plans last minute never ceases to be frustrating and difficult.  Do you have any tips to help make the Holidays a little more merry and bright?