What I’m Packing: A Weekend Road Trip

IMG_3508

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?

Have a Wonderful Weekend

d776dce1f3eabcc4965be15ebd6f2b02

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.

In Defense of Dressing Up

b68fd60403b75a3d049de1f6bde32bc5

Last week as we were getting ready for our belated Valentine’s Day date, my boyfriend said, “I’ll never understand why guys don’t like actually getting dressed up every now and then.”  I couldn’t agree more.  His comment got me thinking about the value of a well-curated outfit and spending a few extra minutes on the rituals of getting ready.

Lately, I’ve been making a point of getting a little more gussied up and I can’t even begin to tell you what a difference it makes.  I’ll always be a champion of the effortless look; jeans, a t-shirt and simple sneakers have been my tried and true uniform for most of my life.  This being said, things are only as special as you make them.  Get out your phone, call up some friends, make a dinner date and commit to an ensemble that really makes you glow.  Then come back here and tell me how amazing you felt.

And The Award Goes To…

35b2ab4f4d8216e42e962a00681a0aae

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

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!

a1730c5e5a9c7f6444102b313839e46e

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.
small-shop-for-a2-photo-shoot-desk-vignette-overhead-biz-cards-roses-coffee-laptop

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!

 

Playing Dress Up

This week I got to take off my recent uniform of tattered jeans and t shirts and trade them in for a dress and heels to go to a charity gala with a few friends.  Don’t get me wrong, I will happily live in jeans and tees for the rest of my life but there’s something refreshing about dressing up, don’t you think?  Every now and then indulging in the rituals associated with spending to much time getting ready is nice.

When I get the chance, I block of an hour or even an hour and a half and relish the act of getting ready for something.  I’ll take a bath (this week I used this) and shave my legs, maybe even do a face mask.  I’ll sit in my robe, put on some music and survey outfit and shoe options then I’ll migrate back to my bathroom and start in on hair an makeup.

Maybe it’s self-indulgent, but I think every now and then it’s nice to spend some time getting ready.  It makes the actual event you’re getting ready for feel even more special, don’t you agree?  How do you dress up?

Would You Ever Have a Monochrome Closet?

Image Courtesy of Oracle Fox

One of the integral parts of moving is decluttering.  Parting with items in my closet has always been a challenge for me.  I have an eminent fear of consigner’s regret.  This being said, I almost always have the feeling that I’ve got a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.  As I begin to go through my closet, I find myself wishing that I could throw (almost) everything away and start all over.  I’m starting to realize that it’s not so much that I don’t like the fuchsia silk blouse I bought two years ago and have worn four times, it’s that I don’t have much that matches with fuchsia.  This is where the monochrome closet comes in to save the day.

A monochrome closet sticks to the same palette thus, everything matches.  All you have to do is mix and match your pieces.  Sounds kind of blissful, doesn’t it?  I don’t know if I could fully commit to starting all over though, could you?  What do you’d think about this?  Let me know!

 

Face to Face

Face to Face

TOP ROW (left to right) : NIP+FAB Skin Glycolic Cleansing Fix, Guerlain Abeille Royale Preparing Toner, Alba Botanica Good& Clean Toxin Release Scrub. BOTTOM ROW (left to right) : Clarisonic Brush, GLAM GLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment, Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme.

Lately, I’ve been having some very real skin struggles. I’ve done every mask imaginable, tried an array of toners and considered ever cleanser under the sun. Then it dawned on me, I still hadn’t tapped my most valuable resource: fellow faces. This week I asked a bunch of wonderful women I’m lucky enough to call friends (and family) to share some of their useful tips and tricks as well as their tried and true regimens. Here’s what they had to say…

 

“Everybody’s skin is different, what’s yours like?”

“I have combination, sensitive and acne-prone skin. Some parts can get dry, while my T-zone is where I produce the most oil. The goal of my skincare is balance. I want my skin to feel soft and radiant.”—Natacia, a Student in Winter Park, FL.

“My skin is pretty dry, especially in the winter, so I’m a little obsessive about achieving a hydrated, dewy glow when the seasons change. My favorite products to use are Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum and their Hydra Beauty Gel Creme—they are light enough to avoid shine but still incredibly hydrating.”—Olivia, a Key Leader for Lululemon Athletica in Arlington, VA.

 “I use the Rodan+Fields Redefine line of products. I buy them from a sorority sister and love the idea of using all of one product [line]. Previously, I would buy whatever the salesperson at Sephora said I needed, and I had a hodgepodge of products. At night, I wash my face with Cetaphil, then use the R+F exfoliating roller, the Redefine Overnight Restorative Cream and the Multi-Function Eye Cream.” — Lynn, from AZ

 

What’s your go to routine?

 “[In the morning] I wash my face with Dove Sensitive Skin Bar Soap and try to incorporate Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale also. Once I finish with washing my face, I put on Natura Bisse C+C Vitaman Cream. [At night] I do the same thing but I also put on the their eye cream.”

Lisa, a beach-lover in Davie, FL.

 “In the morning I wash my face with Cetaphil, then I put Olay Day Lotion on before I put my makeup on. At night, I wash my face with Cetaphil then use Ren Under-Eye Cream and Ren Night Cream. Twice a week I use AmorePacific Exfoliator.”—Becky, an Assistant Buyer in Hoboken, NJ.

 “When I was 14 I had some skin problems and I went to the dermatologist who suggested a UV light treatment, which worked wonders after only four times. Ever since then I virtually have done nothing except apply lotion to my face after showering. I never use any products for washing it or exfoliating the skin. This mostly stems from my laziness, but I firmly believe that this is the best thing for my skin, because I’ve had no problems since except one or too pimples from time to time. Now that I live in China I wash my face with water more regularly and sometimes apply a very light cleaning product that simply gets rid of the oil.”

—Theresa, a Marketing Assistant in International Trade in Guangzhou, China.

“I use Clinique Foaming Cleanser, Clarifying Lotion, and Repairwear Cream. I use this every morning (after my workout and right before I put my makeup on) and every night right before I go to sleep. Once a week, typically on a weekend, I also use a gentle exfoliating cleanser. For makeup, I wear tinted moisturizer with CC cream and sunscreen to make sure I don’t damage my skin further.”—Erin a Graduate School Student in Maitland, FL.

 

What do you do when your face needs a little pick-me-up?

 “Whenever I need a pick me up I exfoliate 3 times a week and I’ll put a mask on 3 times a week—a different mask every time with a different task. I never do the same thing whether the mask is hydrating or just toning or just to mattify my face. At night I’ll put what my aestheticians gave me, which is .5% pure retinol, fixes me right up!”—Stella, a Student in Davie, FL.

 “A friend introduced me to Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel a while ago. I’ll pick up a pack of five if my skin has been looking dull for a few days and it gives me an almost immediate radiance. I also attend a heated power yoga class every Wednesday at 6am and sweating out all the toxins and pollution absorbed into my skin from the last week has made a definite improvement.”—Olivia

“I use the Therapeutic Sulfur Masque by Peter Thomas Roth about 2 to 3 times a week, sometimes I forget but, if my skin isn’t looking great, I’ll be sure to put it on”. – Leonora, a student in Winter Park, FL.

 “A couple times a month I use the Vivo Per Lei Dead Sea Minerals Facial Peel. It feels a little funny at first, but your skin is left feeling super soft. I found this at a spa as well, but they sell it online. A couple times a month I also use Chanel’s Hydramax+Active Moisture Mask.”—Brittney, an Assistant Manager at Lululemon Athletica in Arlington, VA.

 

Any skin trend you’ve never done but are dying to try?

“I would love, love, love to get a Clarisonic! Everyone who has one seems to be in love with theirs and to really swear by them and how their skin looks and feels after each use.” — Caroline, a recent college graduate in Boston, MA.

“I really want to try Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. It’s inexpensive and has tons of amazing reviews.”—Lulu, a Graduate and Lab Assistant in Claremont, CA.

“I’ve heard that coconut oil can do wonders for the skin and I would be very open to trying that for a change. One of my friends swears by oil pulling and says it has diminished her skin problems.”—Theresa

“I’ve been curious to try some of the Korean beauty products that have hit the market recently. They cater to the dewy glow I’m always after so I may have to pick up a moisturizer one of these days and test it out!”—Olivia

 

Are you going to try anything new?  I want to give this a go and play with this little guy.  Also, don’t these looks so refreshing for after a long trip or between work and happy hour?