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.

Have a Really Fabulous Weekend

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Hey there you wonderful readers you, happy Friday!  I’m sorry I’m getting this to you so late but I had work and then I got a little carried away in my excitement of the return of House of Cards!  This weekend I’m going to a stranger’s birthday party, getting ready for one of my closest friends to come and visit and holing up in a cozy coffee shop to continue the full-time job hunt.  What are you up to?  Something wonderful I hope.  Here are some things I found around the web this week that I thought I’d share with you.

If you haven’t already, you’ve got to check out Magnolia Market, run by Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper.  Their home accents are simple and beautiful in every way.

I could not stop laughing at this photographic comparison of Los Angeles and New York City.

Have you heard of Kit and Ace?  Poke around their site and read their About page, I think you’re going to like them.

Here’s a really great blog post with super helpful denim wearing tips from the denim experts of Madewell.  (You should shop around, they just got some super crave worthy pieces in.)

The only election calendar you’ll need all year.  (You should also definitely sign up for he Skimm.)

How simple and pretty is this cocktail?

I’m absolutely dying to try this truffled gnocchi macaroni and cheese.  Three of my favorite things in one warm and satisfying dish.

I’m really loving all of the beauty products Anthropologie is now carrying.

I hope you enjoyed all of these as much as I did.  Have a fantastic weekend and I’ll meet you back here Monday.

 

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.

 

I’m Late, I’m Late…

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for a very important [blog] date.  Sorry that I dropped the ball yesterday.  I don’t know about you guys but this week has been tough.  Hopefully the weekend will bring less stress and give some time for some much needed R&R.  How are all of you spending your next 48 hours of freedom?  Here are some interesting things I found around the web this past week.

Madewell teamed up with Daryl Kerrigan, creator of the New York- based brand Daryl K.  The whole collection has an easy,cool and casual 90’s rock vibe that is pretty obsession worthy.  Check it out here.

Liv Tyler has been a style and beauty icon of mine for a long long time.  Check out this killer interview she gave where she spills some of her greatest beauty secrets.

This past week I’ve felt seriously under qualified to be participating in adulthood.  This quiz helped reassure me a little with my 0% score.

I can barely put this book down.

These fragrances are seriously to die for.

This blog is great when you need a little inspiration for some productivity.

Does this salad not sound super amazing?

I’m so incredibly excited for this show to come back.

This impression of Rachel from Friends was crazy good.

Have such a lovely weekend and I’ll see you on Monday.

 

Sorry I’ve Been So Slow…

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but hopefully this tiny little turtle on a leaf that’s totally pumped for the weekend will help you forgive me.  I promise that there will be a round of posts up to greet you first thing Monday morning but for now, here are some links that I’ve found around the web that I’ve been dying to share with anyone (read: everyone)…

I’ve been trying to become a morning person and this has been insanely helpful.

I watched the live performance last week and totally loved it.  Try this quiz and find out which Pink Lady you would be.

Kate Spade just rolled out their kitchen line and it’s kind of making me want to throw out ever single pot, pan and dish and replace them all with quippy casserole dishes and patterned plates.

I really loved this list (with recipes) of 44 Classic French Meals You Need to Try Before You Die.

Have a spa day at home and give this insanely easy DIY body scrub a try.

fun and thoughtful way to show a friend you’re thinking of them just in time for Galentine’s day.  (Leslie Knope would be all over this site.)

This is, without question, one of the strangest-sort-of-greatest-but-still-super-weird things I’ve ever seen.

Did this make your heart sing too?  I can’t wait.

How good does this cocktail sound?  (Created by my favorite cocktail connoisseur)

Have a lovely weekend my forgiving and wonderful readers.  See you Monday, I promise.

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?

Better Late Than Never… Right?

 

Happy Friday

Happy Friday

 

Sorry I’m a little behind, I promise I didn’t forget about you!  How was everyone’s week?  Apartment hunting was beyond successful.  I managed to find a perfect little apartment on a perfect little street and  couldn’t be more pleased.  It’s about half the size of the apartment I’m in now so it’s going to require some major de-cluttering on my part.  Any of you have any suggestions for down sizing and reorganizing?  Anyways, here are some sharables to get your weekend started on the right foot.

Write a number one pop song, remember us when you’re famous?

Because Rembrandt

I picked this lip exfoliating set up at Sephora earlier this week and I’m kind of loving it.

I’m headed to go see this movie with my good friend Erin tonight.

Having a hard time deciding on a Halloween costume?  Want to confirm your costume’s originality? This new site from Google can help you out.

Did any of you read this article in The New York Times this past Sunday?  It’s sort of heartbreaking but also really lovely.  I can’t urge you enough to read it.

 

How do you plan to spend your 48-hours of freedom?

xo

Courtney

 

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?