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Holiday Travel Tips

16 Nov

 

The holiday season is upon us and with that comes time with friends and family, lots of food and of course travel. Traveling year round can be as stressful as it is enjoyable but add a holiday in the mix and it becomes that much more intense. I myself have done a good bit of traveling around holidays and here are a few tips I find serve me well:

 

  • Book early and look around- If you know you plan to travel start checking flights ASAP! Generally as the date draws closer, the cost of the flight exponentially increases as the demand is now high. I would recommend booking at least 6 weeks in advance if you can to ensure the best price. Also take some time to check different airlines and third party booking sites for the best deal.

 

  • Try avoiding peak days- When it comes to holidays, some of the busiest days are the two days before or the two days after the actual holiday, this means fares are up, delays are rampant and airport lines are long. Interestingly, the actual holiday is usually much quieter with lower fares to boot. To get a better idea, there are some websites that actually list the best and worst days to travel in terms of fare costs and how busy.

 

  • Avoid peak times- Travel early am or late at night. This is in the same vein as avoiding peak days. Very early or late flights tend to be more rare meaning shorter lines. Very early flights are less likely to be delayed as well. There are also websites that offer some insight as to the best times of day to travel.

 

  • Allow for connections- Many of us have to take connecting flights in order to get to our destination. This is definitely a source of travel induced stress. If the first flight is delayed or the immigration/customs/security lines are long, you can end up missing your next flight which can send the entire trip into a tailspin. Try to book your flights with enough time in between to allow for a smooth connection. This may require a little research into the airports you’ll be traveling through to understand the layout, get info on the wait times etc.

 

  • Plan ahead: check-in online, plan for ride pick up/drop off/ weigh luggage- All in an effort to achieve a nice smooth travel experience, check-in in advance, book rental cars or pick ups in advance and ensure that your luggage and its contents meet the security and airline requirements…IN ADVANCE!

 

  • Be early- They say that Timeliness is next to Godliness…or is it Cleanliness? Anyway, if you leave early you will at the very least arrive on time. I recently traveled out of LAX and LA is infamous for the actual worst traffic. What did I do? I got my Lyft ride to collect me 4 1/2 hours before my flight. I was so early there was no one to check in luggage and I sat at the check in desk for almost an hour, but that was okay I’d rather sit at the gate for two hours than sit anxiously in traffic, lose my mind while checking in and have to run through security and to my gate.

 

  • Pack smart- I try to avoid checking luggage whenever I can because that saves money as well as time (spent waiting for luggage to come off the conveyor belt) and hassle (when it mysteriously doesn’t come off the conveyor belt). If you can’t avoid having checked luggage, remember pack your essentials, versatile clothing and in keeping with baggage policies to avoid issues with overweight or oversize charges and customs hassles.

 

  • Eat well/Bring snacks- Travel can sometimes be long and arduous, you don’t need hangry-ness on top of that. I advise having a nutritious, filling meal before you begin your travels and pack along something to munch on while waiting in lines or on flight. You can of course eat at the numerous overpriced eateries available inside airport terminals , just make sure you stay well fed and hydrated.

 

  • Dress comfortably- I have mentioned this before in my post about dressing for travel,  but comfort is key when traveling. That, and being dressed to run to a gate it you have to. Wear comfortable well fitting clothing and shoes that are simple to remove and replace during security checks.

 

  • Be patient/Prepared for delays- Despite your best efforts to be prepared; on time, appropriately dressed, perfectly packed something can still go wrong. There could be a major delay or flight cancellation, lost luggage or nothing but terrible restaurants in your terminal. Just take a deep breath because this too shall pass.

Thanks for reading, have an awesome day and safe travels.

 

5 Key Accessory Pieces

11 Mar

This post outlines some key accessory items I think every woman should have. This is not an exhaustive list and it is totally expected to have multiples of some of these items but having at least one of each will help keep your wardrobe afloat.

Sunglasses– Of course you need a pair. Sunglasses walk the line between function and fashion. They shield your eyes from uncomfortable sunlight and protect them from UV damage. Choose a pair of sunglasses that suit your face, goes with most of your wardrobe and that fits in with your budget.

A tip for prolonging the life of your sunglasses is to keep them in their case once you aren’t wearing them. Don’t drag them onto your head, don’t hang them onto the neck of your shirt and don’t just cram them into your bag.

Clutch– A small compact bag to stash your essentials in for a night out. Select a clutch that can hold your phone and keys along with some lipgloss. The colour and style are totally subjective but of course, neutral colours will get the most use.

Whatever style you chose depends on you but I have two recommendations when looking for a clutch apart from ensuring it can fit enough stuff. The first is find one that has a few card slots or at least a small pocket for a card slot. That way you don’t have to worry about a purse/wallet. The second is try and find a clutch with a strap, preferably a detachable one so you get more versatility in terms of wear.

Scarf– Yes, a scarf! I’m not talking a long woolen winter neck warmer, although that’s key in some people’s wardrobes as well. I’m talking a classy, printed silk square. A scarf can add that splash, that personal touch to your overall look. You can wrap it around your head or make it into a headband, you can tie it around your neck or (my fave) tie it around a bag handle elevating it.

A tip for buying a multi-use scarf is to get a wider longer one, that way it can comfortably be used lots of ways.

Hat– A hat is definitely key. For sun protection while on vacation or to add some flare when you’re feeling groovy. My personal favorite is the wide-brimmed felt hat but hats literally come in all shapes and sizes and can reflect who you are.

When storing your hats, place some crumpled paper or plastic bags in the head portion to help it keep its shape. Unless you have a hat form. Or a hat box. Those work too.

Belt– And bringing up the rear is a belt. Belts also sit on the line of function and fashion. They help keep your pants and skirts in place but they can add so much to an outfit. You can add a skinny belt to a work outfit to look more put together or wear a thick waist cinching belt with a loose-fitting dress or top to make things more interesting.

If you find you wear mostly gold jewelry, you should get a belt either with a gold, brass or copper buckle and if you wear more silver, chose belts with silver and pewter buckles.

What accessories do you consider essential to your wardrobe? Let me know and have an awesome day!

The 5 Types of bag you need

22 Oct

Have you ever found yourself desperately trying to find the perfect bag for a situation? Despite having countless bag? 

I feel you. 

This is a bag basics guide to the 5 Types of bag you should have. It is not an exhaustive list (OF COURSE),  as one can never have too many bags, however if you have these 5 types of bag you will find you always have a bag for every occasion.

 THE TOTE

The tote bag is an everyday catch-all type of bag. It is the definition of versatility going from work bag to shopping bag to travel bag. Totes are often open or may have a zippered top like this one. Whatever you choose, it will serve many purposes.

THE CROSSBODY

For a hands free day, a crossbody is the bag to go with. Crossbody bags generally vary from very small to medium sized and they work great for exploring while on vacation, going out to a movie or a casual day of shopping.

THE BACKPACK

To be honest, you’re either a backpack person or you aren’t. If you’re not, it’s likely you haven’t found the right backpack for you. Backpacks are another stylish way to go hands free but carry more stuff. These bags are great for people who are spending time with children, useful for vacation and even work.

THE CLUTCH

A clutch is a must have being great for evenings out and brunch. I personally recommend getting one that comes with a detachable chain so it can also be used as a super compact crossbody for hands free fun!

THE STRUCTURED BAG

Again, you either like structured bags or you don’t. However, a good sized  (medium) structured bag can serve many purposes. It’s great for work, as an everyday bag if you’re running around doing errands and it’s compact and polished enough to go from day to evening.  
So… do I have more than five bags? Heck yeah ! But , these five bags fit all my needs and I make selections about new bags based on the functions these serve.

Have an awesome day!

Pack with me

24 Sep

WHAT: Girls (mostly) trip

WHERE: Vegas baby!

WHEN: Sometime in the near Future

Hello and welcome to ‘Packing with me.” I will soon be taking a trip to Las Vegas and I thought I would share a few of my must-haves.

Clockwise from bottom

Flip-flops- These cute nude tones jelly ones with bows let your feet stay comfy while looking super cute.

Crossbody– This recent acquisition (as if I needed another crossbody) is by Ann Kline, a great contemporary designer. I love the structured box shape, the (faux) alligator skin finish and (faux) antique gold hardware. This will work great for all my exciting handsfree activities!

Hair Moisturizer– Do NOT leave home without your go-to hair product. This Coconut infused Whole Blends by Garnier keeps my thick, curly, unruly tresses in order. Of course, to avoid checked baggage I will be placing some of it in a travel appropriate (less than 3 fl Oz/ 100mL) bottle.

Way-Cool shades- That’s what I’ve decided to call these trendy sunglasses. The cat eye frame and super reflective finish have been popular recently and who doesn’t want to look trendy when on vacay. This is not my regular pair of sunnies, these are a much cheaper pair so just in case things get “way-crazy” and they are destroyed/lost I’ll still have my regular pair.

Bright red Lipstick– I chose this slightly cool toned brilliant red by Loreal “Frieda’s Red “. Red is my personal favourite lip colour so of course I want to have a nice turned up red on my lips while I’m turning things up in Vegas. If red isn’t your thing go for a nice bright pink/orange/coral. 

Sunscreen– Whatever your age, ethnicity, skin type etc, do not step outside without loading up on sunscreen. UV rays don’t discriminate. This is actually a daily moisturiser by Ceruve and contains hydrating cerumide but also contains SPF 30.

Fragrance– I am a huge believer in minis, whether you buy them or make your own by transferring products into smaller containers. My mother gave me this little sampler set of Atilier fragrances for my birthday and I think they are perfect for this trip. With scents ranging from blood orange to white musk, there is no occasion where I won’t find something just right.

Blazer– You really can’t go wrong with a blazer,  particularly this oversized fit black one from H+M. A nice blazer can keep you warm on your flight, dress up a nightime outfit and add dimension to daytime dress. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT ONE!

Statement Necklace- Or statement earrings, or statement arm cuff. Point is, a jewellery piece (or two or three) that can really pop and elevate your looks.

Thank you for letting me share some of my travel essentials. Hopefully you see some inspiration for your next trip and have an awesome day!

How to dress when travelling

6 Aug

There was a time when I felt I had to really dress up when travelling. I would make sure my hair was well coiffed, full face of makeup and dressed to impress: nice jeans, cute top, chandelier earrings…basically I did the most.

As I progressed in life and began travelling more frequently my need to look dressed up dwindled and was gradually replaced with functional dressing until I reached the point I’m at now…comfortable.

TIPS

Comfy pants– For me, that’s leggings but joggers or sweatpants can work.

Layer – I usually wear a tank or other lightweight top so I can keep cool if I’m running from one gate to the next but then I carry a long sleeve button down to bundle up in when it gets cold.

Easy shoes– After travelling in flip-flops and sneakers, I’ve finally found my sweet spot… slip-ons. Let me tell you why. Slip ons are comfortable and durable like sneakers BUT super easy to get on and off when going through security.

Change of clothes– This is for when you travel from one climate to another e.g. going from a colder to a tropical climate. I would toss a change of shoes and bottom in my carry on luggage.

Limit jewelry– All the bangles and rings look fantastic especially for selfie purposes but become a bulky chore both when going through security and trying to get comfy in your airplane seat.

Bare your face– This was my personal “AHA” moment. Despite dressing down I would still make an effort to have my face done, so as to look presentable. But guess what, nothing and I do mean NOTHING feels better than travelling sans makeup save for a bit of SPF (except that moment you take your bra off …but I digress). If you’re on a long flight your skin gets a chance to breathe and you won’t have to worry about touching up after half of your makeup comes off on your neck pillow.

That’s my 2 cents on how to dress when travelling. I find when I go this route I feel relaxed and I have one less thing to stress about when travelling. Have an awesome day!

Cheap Trend- Patches

23 Jul

Hello 

Today I am exploring the trend that has taken 2017 by storm…patches. Like most current trends, patches aren’t new by any means but they have definitely made a big splash recently adorning everything from caps to bags to shoes.

Bag by Anya Hindmarch, Boots by Shop Deco and hat from Forever 21

One of my favourite looks with this trend is on denim jackets so I decided to DIY my own.  Due to the massive popularity of patches,  they are now widely available in craft stores, book stores, trendy clothing stores… you name it. And, they are often quite cheap.

I resurrected a cropped light wash denim jacket from my past and decided to give it a 2017 update with some patches. 

WHAT YOU NEED

1. Denim jacket

2. Patches

The jacket

The patches




WHAT TO DO

1) Lay the patches out on the jacket and play around with the arrangement. 

Lay out patches


2) Read the instructions for the patches CAREFULLY! Most patches can be stuck or sewn on but some can’t be stuck (I learnt this the hard way). Additionally, if you stick rather than sew, the garment can’t be washed so bear that in mind. I chose to stick mine on because I hope to recycle the jacket again.

Follow patch instructions


3) Apply the patches– If you’re sticking them on it won’t take very long but if you’re sewing it will obviously take longer.

Then you’re done!

I just love this trend.  I think it’s so great that you can inject your own personality into your fashion and it’s super fun, easy and affordable. This could work great on a backpack or a pair of denim shorts or whatever you like. 

Hopefully you find some inspiration from this post and hoping you have an awesome day!

A few Summer Things

11 Jun

Hello and happy summer. I have a smattering of a few things I’ve been using and look forward to continue using as the hottest months of the year approach.

Clothing 

Bomber jacket

You’re probably thinking…how can a jacket be the first thing I talk about in a summer centered post. But hear me out. Most contemporary bomber jackets which are super trending this year are actually quite lightweight meaning they are just right for a cooler summer night or if you will be indoors where ac will be blasting to no end. 

I picked up this olive green (khaki some call it) one with beautiful pink rose patches from T J Maxx. The brand is Love Tree and this cost about $34 US. I love the look of bomber jackets and I love this more traditional colour but the pop of pink floral really speaks to my personality. 

Hair, Lips and Skin

Garnier Whole Blends smoothing oil

This is Garnier’s more modern line of hair products focusing on using more natural ingredients. I’ve tried a number of these products and I would say overall they are just okay. However the standout is the “Coconut oil and cocoa butter” line particularly the hair butter and this little nugget here:smoothing oil. I have very curly hair and we all know that curly hair is thirsty (pronounced THUUURRRSTEE) and constantly craves moisture. I use this oil as part of my post wash treatment and occasionally when I want to give my tresses a little extra shine.

Nivea Lip Butter

An oldie with a new spin. Back when I was a wee lass Nivea came in a flat blue tin and it’s distinctly scented thick oily texture was my jam. I’m happy to see this company is still making products. This lip butter is literally that. The texture is soft with a lot of slip and it coats the lips well. And it smells really good. Like, really really good. 

The Body Shop Almond, Milk and Honey Body Butter

I picked this up at the Body Shop kiosk at the Charlotte NC airport (the staff was so nice and helpful btw). It was a bit of an impulse purchase as I was trying to kill time before my flight. But it turned out to be a great purchase. As with most Body shop body butters the formula is thick yet soft and not too heavy. Perfect texture. The scent is beautiful, it smells just enough of honey, not too much, not too little.

Makeup 

NYX Jumbo eye sticks

I picked up these cute jumbo eye pencils a couple weeks ago. I’ve recently become more open about the types of makeup I use wanting to try different varieties of things. These are cool. You can basically draw on your eyeshadow! I got a couple of my favourite colours ; muted jewel tones and a gold for a bright pop.

Fragrance- room

Bath and Body Works Tobacco Flower candle

This BBW candle is my pick for this summer. Tobacco flower is actually used in many perfumes and fragrances and with good reason. The scent is rich and complex and really adds ambience. This is great to light in the evening when you’re relaxing with a book.

Fragrance- body

Dahlia and Vines rollerball by Nest

I bought this little Nest rollerball in a set of six. Nest makes beautiful but pricey fragrances so this was my way to sample the brand. This fragrance is my favourite. It smells clean and fresh with just a hint of sweet floral. Because it’s so small I often toss this in my bag with me when I’m going out for the day and reapply if I need to.

Tutti Dolci White Mocha Kiss from BBW

I was surprised to see this line in BBW. I remember it or a similarly named line from about 10 years ago and I don’t recall seeing it since then. Until now that is. The Tutti Dolci line is meant to be a sweet candy inspired set of fragrances from what I can tell. This one: White Mocha Kiss is my favourite in fact I plan to repurchase a full size. It literally smells like a white chocolate mocha drink. I think of it as a more grown up vanilla fragrance and I use it under all my perfumes. 10 out of 10 would recommend. 

Those are my summer things. Hope you enjoyed reading and hope you have an awesome day!

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