Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Challenge 2012: Minimize



           Moving this summer made me realize how much stuff I have. Too much. You only need to look at this photo to realize. Often, something is on sale and so I buy it because it’s such a good price. Buy one get one free is my other downfall. So this summer, I am challenging myself to use some of it up. Maybe that means putting on lotion every day or changing my makeup routine. I have grown too accustomed to certain looks, so hopefully this will help me to put some of that pinning to good use! Seriously, who has 25 different lip glosses/stains/sticks (only half got in the photo). Here goes nothing!



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Weekly Wonders: June 27th, 2012


       So in case you haven’t seen the news recently, Florida has been blessed to be hit with a tropical storm again. This is the first time that there have been 4 named storms before July 1st (They have been keeping track since 1851). Lovely, things are looking great for this year’s hurricane season. Anyways, we did what ever other normal person does: we went to the beach! You know, just to see how cool everything looks. To be fair, it was after the really bad portion of the storm and it was not raining. Plus, she is only a tropical storm. Anyways, enough justifying, it was one of the coolest things I have done and apparently a bunch of people decided to do the same thing. It was amazing, and I hope you enjoy some of the photos below!






Monday, June 25, 2012

Packing Tip #2: Liquor Boxes


      So now that you have everything wrapped up, you need to store it in a box. Plastic bins are expen$ive. I bought three and they cost like 10 bucks each. I ended up just using them for odds and ends. And you can’t make them too heavy to carry which thus detracts from their large size (thus the flotsam and jetsam getting thrown in there). The keys to boxes are SMALL and LIGHT. I thought it was ridiculous to go out and buy cardboard boxes for a college move. Seriously, I have a lot of “stuff” but not enough and definitely not nice enough stuff to justify that. So what’s a college girl got to do to get free boxes? Go to the liquor store. That’s right, you heard me correctly. The Liquor Store. You just walk in, and ask for some boxes. Normally they have huge stacks of them. And living in a college towns, there were plenty of stores to choose from, two were walking distance from my apartment. So why liquor boxes other than they are free? They are sturdy (think of how heavy bottles are) and the perfect size (about six to eight big bottles per box). Some even still have the dividers in them to help when packing your own glasses. I think I ended up using eight boxes, mostly for the kitchen stuff.

      Another quick tip: Shoe boxes. Sturdy ones are great for packing the kitchen utensils and other odds and ends.

Friday, June 22, 2012

What’s in my bag: Three Week Europe Trip

I know I owe photos from Europe, but I literally took like a  thousand. So it’s going to take awhile, but in the mean time I have pictures from what’s in my bag. See gallivanting around Europe for three weeks (six cities), I knew I needed to keep my bag light. Well okay, I needed to pack just one bag, the light part was a wish that was never going to be fulfilled. And I searched and searched on the internet for advice. Okay, so I went to google and pinterest. I could not find any good advice, like how much to pack of each thing. So I figured, I would show you guys and maybe you will benefit from this at least. Since I was there in May the temperatures ranged from 60-85 (oh Amsterdam).  I needed things that could convert easily from cold to hot weather. As well, lack of space meant everything had to easily match so I thought of a color scheme. My color scheme came mostly from what colors I had the most clothing in, and what I thought looked best on me. Blue (I own a ton of blue clothes), Black (prefer it over brown) and white (goes with everything) with touches of pink! The color scheme worked great for my trip.
-Travel Outfit: Pretty dress with scarf. Wrinkle proof for long flight and roomy.  Add fleece lined leggings and I might be even able to fall asleep on a plane!
-Six Dresses: One long sleeved, some patterned, one black long sleeved nice dress for fancy dinners (or just a normal day in classy Europe) were some of my dresses. I wanted things that did not need a ton of work (sorry dry clean only dresses) and did not show stains easily.
-Three Skirts: One white, one pink and one gold!
-Two Shirts: Navy stripes and black one that can be worn with all three skirts!
-Three Sweaters: One black cardigan, and teal cardigan for layering with dresses and shirts. One blue sweater that can be worn with skirts.
-Two Scarfs: White and plaid, also double as blankets and umbrellas!
And to top it off, I only packed four pairs of shoes! FOUR! Wedges are the perfect height without the pain of the heel especially on cobblestone streets. Two pairs of flats for everyday, both have sparkles! I love glitter! And sparkly sandals, I get compliments on them everywhere I go!
Not Pictured but still really useful:
-A trench coat: wore this ALL the time, and it’s waterproof! It’s a classic and one of the best investments I have ever made.
- Blue Blazer: When it was slightly hotter, I wore it instead of the trench coat. So it got a  ton of use too!
-Two Leggings: One was just sheer black tights but the other was my secret weapon. Fleeced lined tights are honestly the best invention ever. They keep my bottom half warm. I always wear them for flights, its like blankets wrapped around each of my legs.  

So I hope this helps your future trips!

P.S. Here is what's in my carry on!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Weekly Wonderings: June 20th, 2012

Yesterday, I went to a zoo. Lowry Park Zoo to be exact. I am not the biggest fan of zoos, because I hate animals in cages. So the idea of a huge park with lots of species in cages is not my cup of tea. Surprisingly, Lowry Park Zoo did not upset me too much. The animals seemed well taken care of and had room to play (the alligators were even fat!). Animal maltreatment irks me to no end.  I am famous in my house for once threatening to let the lobsters free in our salt water pool because I did not want to be an accessory to murder! Anyways, I thought I would share some fun photos from our trip! At the zoo, I got to ride a camel!!!! Did you know they can carry up to their body weight, which is about 1,800 lbs? I also fed that adorable giraffe, they have HUGE tongues! The tongue looped around my hand and grabbed the lettuce. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just this once....

I hate doing things like this but I am so happy about the article! I just graduated as some people may know and my local paper wrote an article about me! If you care to read a bit more about me, here's the link

Monday, June 11, 2012

Travel Diary: New Orleans

So I am in New Orleans. Actually I'm at the airport on my way home! I spent four lovely days here, learned a lot of new things, eat some of the best food, took a cooking class, and saw Paula Dean and John Cusack! I took a ghost tour ( which I highly recommend ) and saw alligators on a swamp tour. They feed them marshmallows! On sticks! The New Orleans Cooking School taught me how to make corn and crab bisque, shrimp creole, pralines, and bananas foster and gave me samples ( enough for a full lunch). Our ghost your guide told us "anything worth doing doing in New Orleans is worth doing with a cocktail" and he was right! I saw two plantation homes, walked all over French Quarter and had bananas foster from where it was created (Brennans). This was quiet the culinary tour! I highly recommend you try New Orleans for your next vacation, there is quiet something for everyone ( just not the faint of heart)!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weekly Wonderings: June 6th, 2012

    This weekend is the Belmont Stakes, and while I am not the biggest horse race fan, this race should be interesting. After a quick wikipedia lesson on the Triple Crown Competition, I feel like I understand these races a bit better. A little background knowledge makes anything more enjoyable. For instance, did you know that only 11 horses have ever won the Triple Crown and the last one was in 1978? With I’ll Have Another going for the title, it should be an interesting 1.5 miles. Horses can only compete in their third year, so this is the only chance for it. Seriously, read the wikipedia page, and then go watch the race. Here’s some inspiration for a lovely derby party, you really want food that can be easily held in the excitement of those couple of minutes. All of these ideas are easy to carry in the excitement!


Pin 2

Pin 3

Pin 4

Pin 5

What are you doing for the derby? Anything special? Or just relaxing a home in a big hat like me?

Monday, June 4, 2012

What’s in my carry on….

So I am back! Yay! After a three week whirlwind tour of Europe, seeing 5 countries, and 6 cities. It was a blast and I will post some photos soon. I planned expertly for my trip, if I do say so myself. I packed one check-in bag and one big purse. When planning for my trip, I googled the heck out of phrases like “what to pack for three weeks in Europe” and “what to pack for Europe” and “good travel outfits” but there were very little actual advice. Things like “pack comfortable shoes” and “an umbrella” kept popping up but I wanted real advice. hard core stuff, like 3 knee length dresses and 1 stripped shirt. But apparently the internet doesn’t have that hard core of advice. So I thought I would share my own hard core advice, starting with packing my carry on.
I packed it in my black longchamp, the reason why is simple: longchamps are waterproof and zip all the way. I have to admit, my uncle gave this bag awhile ago and at first I thought it was the ugliest thing. Black and brown? No design? Gross! But then it rained one faithful day and my stuff stayed dry. Completely dry. Notebooks didn’t get ruined, papers did not drip, it was magical. After that, I was sold, I love it. Look, people who tell you they are beautiful bags are lying to you. But they fold flat completely (great for storage) and the one zipper is great when worried about pick pockets!
So enough about my rant on longchamps, let’s get to what’s inside my bag: (Clockwise from left)
  • Sleeping mask (in case, I think for once there might be a slight chance I can fall asleep on the plane (spoiler alert- I didn’t manage to, again))
  • Candy  (because well… duh)
  • Gum (for ear popping at take off and landing but gum isn’t popular in Europe so beware)
  • Kleenex (always useful, worse case they are back up napkins)
  • Peppermint mouth drops (from Aveda,  AMAZING, a few drops and my breath smells fantastic)
  • Netbook (laptop is way tooo bulky when I just need it to store photos)
  • Folder (had copies of passport, credit card, and confirmations for everywhere plus itinerary (more on that in another post)
  • Bag of makeup (I was on planes for 10 plus hours, it needed to be re-touched)
  • Wallet
  • Guidebook for Paris
  • Purse hook (so my bag doesn’t touch the ground and get dirty, plus protects from pickpockets)
  • Pen and notepad (to keep track of expenses, more on that later)
  • Notebook (for notes about trips and such)
  • Economist (I love the Economist, I look smart while reading it and all the articles are short enough to keep my attention span, seriously pick up a copy for a long trip, you will be glad you did)
  • Iphone
  • Sunglasses (I did not wear them inside, don’t worry, but I do have a tendency to wear them too late into the evening, any bit of sun is sunglasses weather for me)
  • Lip stain (I love that is gives me color and doesn’t smear off, perfect for planes and every other occasion!)
  • Passport
  • Ipad (had a tv show (okay, Downton Abbey Season 2) downloaded and 3 books, perfect amount!)
  • Lighted magnifying mirror (bathrooms even in hotels aren’t always that nice, and I like to make sure I am able to see everything)
  • And last but certainly not least FLEECE LINED Leggings (Theses are the best thing I have ever found, seriously. They keep me warm, even in cold Calgary weather last year. Airplanes are perfect for them. Slip them on under a dress and you don’t even need that crappy blanket they give you. It’s like a blanket for your legs, that covers every bit of them. I find mine at TJ Maxx. Last year, for Christmas, I gave all of my girl friends a pair, they all love them! One even wore them on a plane to Australia and said they were the best decision ever)
  • Not pictured: Camera in a camera bag (it was charging, sorry!)
So that’s what was in my carry-on. I hope I helped your future travel adventures. Any tips? Anything I missed?  I used everything in this bag and the bag was heavy but manageable for the trip! I emptied it for every day use while over there.