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?

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.

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!

 

“Don’t Worry It Gets Worse” Makes Everything Better

dont-worry-it-gets-worse-alida-nugent-cover-676x1024This book is every female twenty-something’s new best friend.  It perfectly narrates all the struggles of figure out how to adult and growing into adulthood with anecdotes of her own experiences.  Each chapter more relatable than the last, Nugent walks you through the very real struggles of apartment hunting, post-graduate night life, the daunting tasks of dating and her life-altering experience with a grilled cheese sandwich.  Go buy this book now.  In fact, buy multiple copies and send it to other people too.  Go.  Now.  Why are you still reading this?  You have a book you need to go buy!

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?

A Weekend Away

I’m making a run for it

Thursday I’m heading to San Francisco to visit my good friends and escape the Florida heat.  It’s a short trip but a long distance which means that a strategically packed carry-on bag is a must.  Here’s what I’ll be bringing on my flight:

  • At least two books.  I’m choosing between The Catcher in the Rye, Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
  • A neck pillow- I found this one but it might be a bit too ridiculous.)
  • A blanket- I bought a small fleece children’s blanket from Brookstone a few years ago and now I don’t get on a flight without it.  It’s the perfect size.
  • Cozy Socks- I don’t know about you, but my toes always freeze mid-flight.
  • This is basically like a shower in a can.  You’ll look and feel refreshed and no one will ever know that you spent five hours in a middle seat crammed between two men three times your size.
  • SNACKS- Enough said.
  • Headphones- I have the utmost sympathy for the baby experiencing airplane ear aches but four hours of crying is both heartbreaking and head splitting.

Those are my essentials that I always always bring.  I recently stumbled across these and I’m dying to try one.  I have a feeling they make excellent stocking stuffers too (for those of you that plan ahead).  What are your travel necessities?

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!

 

Happy Friday!

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen, Annie Hall (1977)

 

Hi Everyone!

Let me start by saying, I’m sorry I stood you up.  We have this deal that I’ll be there on Mondays and I wasn’t and I’m sorry.  To make up for it, here are some little gems I saw on the web this week that I absolutely had to share.  I’ve got a well balanced weekend planned of equal parts work and play.  Saturday will be spent at a food and wine festival and Sunday my friend and I have scheduled an indulgent afternoon and a local spa.  In between, I will be purging my kitchen and, much to my chagrin, my closet.  I’ll also be spending some quality time with my storage unit sorting through junk and probably combating the bugs that have nested in said storage unit.  What do you have planned?

 

With the holidays coming up these books look like such great gifts.  I’d love to have a whole library filled with these collections.  I’d also just love to have a library…

I’m just about to finish this book.  It’s a fun and quick read filled with lots of wit and honesty.

This movie just came out and I’m dying to see it.

This video with Bryan Cranston and Stephen Colbert is absolutely dynamite.

If you’re a sucker for romantic moments, you should read some of these ring stories from Stone Fox Bride.  The rings are unique and the stories are human and lovely.

I thought this quiz was kind of neat.  I got Debbie Harry, what about you?

I think I might try these before I got to bed tonight.

Bulldogs have the best advice.

I love candles and I especially love these new ones from Diptyque.  They’re pricey but they last forever and they smell AMAZING.

I hope you have an absolutely wonderful weekend.  See you Monday, I promise.  Tell me what you’re up to!

xo

Courtney

It’s Just a Thing I Do

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I have certain things that I do every week that are really small but make me feel really good. They’re kind of like weekly mini traditions.  On Sundays I always wash my bed sheets, towels, and pajamas.  It’s all done in an hour and it feels pretty amazing when you get into bed at the end of the day.  Mondays are hard but, when you start it out in a bed that smells fresh and clean they start off on a better foot.

On Wednesdays I go over to my friends Kayla and Charlie’s house to watch Criminal Minds.  We sit and drink tea (if it’s been a good start to the week) or wine (if it’s been a not-so-good start to the week) and talk about nothing and everything during the commercials.  It might not be as productive of a ritual as my Sunday Linens habit but it’s something that feeds me.  It’s really nice to have something to look forward to mid-week.  It makes trudging through the weekly sludge a little bit easier.

They may be small but it’s like giving myself a hug.  Nothing special but it still makes me feel a little better.  Do you have any weekly traditions?

 

Photo Credit: http://goo.gl/SEFLFe