Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

My Memorial Day weekend was amazing! We left last Wednesday and flew to Miami for a long weekend of boating. Thursday Tyson and I worked on Freedom all day long. That is one of the most un-glamorous parts of boating, but it is worth it!

The next day we looked at a boat that Jim (Jim is our friend who owns Freedom) is thinking about buying. It was one of the few opportunities to wear something that I wouldn't be sweating my ass off in.

One of my favorite parts of visiting Miami with our friend is that we don't stay in a hotel. We stay on his boat at Miami Beach Marina.
Sunglasses: Old Navy
Romper: Old Navy
Necklace: Old Navy
Wedges: Ugg
Purse: Louis Vuitton

After the looking over the boat, we jumped on Freedom for lunch.
Bathing Suit: Luli Fama

Then that evening we went to Prime Fish for some amazing seafood. I think I ate my weight in oysters.

Saturday we went to Gilbert's. It's a restaurant about 50 miles south of Miami in Key Largo.

After lunch we went back to Mr. Happy to shower and go to the Miami Heat game.

I had a little fun with my cotton candy.

Me, Felicia, and Jim

The Heat game was so much fun! Plus they won!!

On Saturday we went to Nixon Sandbar. We took both boats so we anchored Mr. Happy and made ourselves comfortable!
I was so excited. I got to go on my first dinghy ride!

My friend Yvonne made a video of our sandbar fun!

Sunday night we just relaxed and had a nice dinner at Monty's.

Monday we got up early to look at the boat Jim wants to buy again. I think he's getting serious!
The boat is beautiful and is definitely and upgrade from Mr. Happy so I am not opposed to this purchase!

When we arrived back to the marina we noticed the fishing boat was slicing up their daily catch. It was a 160 pound swordfish. They gave us some fillets to have for dinner. Talk about fresh!

That was a perfect ending to our weekend in South Beach! Great dinner with great company.

Tuesday we got up bright and early to a beautiful rain storm. I love rain. It's so calming!
Bye Mr. Happy!
Lucky for us, Jim offered to fly us home in his plane. Flying private is so much less stressful than flying commercial so I obviously said yes!

We got home yesterday afternoon and now we have one week to prepare for our next trip: the Jacksonville River Rally poker run. Talk about being busy! Whew!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to Pack Like A PRO!

This girl is finally ready to sit down and show you ladies how I pack for a trip. We travel fairly often so I feel I have acquired quite a knack for packing. So if you are in to list-making, OCD, and pure organization. Stick around because you might learn something!

A few things to consider before you even start packing...

1. Where are you going?
If you are going to a secluded place, it's best to pack everything you need. Don't even think about buying something once you get there because it might be very expensive and hard to find. If you are going somewhere warm, consider packing loose fitted clothing and flip flops. If you are going somewhere cold, you might need more than a carry-on bag to make room for everything.

2. Will you be driving or flying?
This is extremely important. If you are driving, HOORAY FOR NO TSA! You can pack just about whatever you want. Food, water, a pocket knife. Whatever! Anything goes! But if you are flying, ask yourself how you would feel if something was lost or stolen. Or TSA made you throw it away. Also consider saving $25 dollars and packing only a carry-on. If you can manage to pack only a carry-on and "one personal item" the chance of something being stolen or lost are greatly reduced. Plus, it saves money and you don't have to wait for your checked-baggage so you can be on your way faster.

3. What are the accommodations?
Are you going camping? Are you staying with friends or family? Or are you staying in a hotel? This is important when it comes to the basics like shampoo and conditioner. When I stay in a hotel I generally do not like their shamp/cond so I pack small travel bottles of my own. But when I am staying with friends or family I can use their items or go to the drugstore and pick some up.

4. How long will you be staying?
Knowing how many days you will be gone can help you prevent over or under-packing. I make a chart so I can visualize exactly what outfits I will need for each day. (See chart below.)

5. What will you be doing?
This is very important. Create and itinerary for what you will be doing each day of your trip. Again, the chart I mentioned above helps me. Once you have your itinerary write down what items you will need to wear for that time frame... i.e. a bathing suit, cover up, and flip flops for the afternoon at the beach. Then once you have what you need written down, pull those items and only pack that stuff. (I usually throw in one extra bathing suit, pair of shorts, dress, etc, but not too much.) Make sure you pack items you have already worn together or tried on so you don't have any surprises. Also, try to pack shoes that go with more than one outfit. I usually pack three or four different pairs of shoes so that my feet don't get sore from wearing the same two pairs of shoes over and over.

A few more tips...
specifically for flying

-Don't pack things you don't need. For instance, I use a facial peel at night when I have a little extra time. I wouldn't pack something like this because I am generally very tired at night when I am traveling and don't have that extra time.

-Clean out your purse. Daily bags can be full of random stuff that you just don't need while traveling... receipts, 10 lip glosses, your dog leash, etc. Always clean out your purse and leave things at home that you won't need. I even go through my wallet. I know I won't be needing my PetSmart or Sally's card when I'm traveling so I leave those at home.

-Make the most of your "personal item". American Airlines defines a personal items as a "purse, briefcase, or laptop bag". I generally use a backpack as my personal item and put my purse inside it. I pull out my boarding pass, ID, and a little bit of cash and put them in a zipper compartment in my backpack for easy access. Putting my purse in to a backpack gives me more room to pack other necessities that would not fit in my purse alone.

-Download apps that will make your life easier. I use TripAssist by Expedia to monitor my flight details. This app alerts me if my flight is delayed or canceled. It also tells me exactly what time my flight will land so I can arrange for someone to pick me up easier.

-When packing toiletries, use travel-sized items! Most products come in travel-sizes now and if they don't, you can make them travel-size. Use empty containers and label them accordingly. Also, dig in your stash of samples from Sephora! Take those tiny perfumes instead of a big bottle and try out a new face wash.

-When packing makeup, only bring your most used items. I doubt you will need a full coverage foundation if you are going to the beach and you won't need neon pink eye shadow. (Unless you are going to a rave.)
I pack my Naked 2 palette, which is sturdy and has all the colors I use regularly. Also, use the little containers you get samples of foundation and creams in from Mac and Sephora. That's a great way to pack just enough foundation for a short trip.

-Use small pouches to keep things organized. I love the bags from Clinique Bonuses.

And now for the actual PACKING!

Start with the small stuff. Put items like thin shirts, undergarments, or swimsuits in to the gaps in the bottom of your suitcase. This space holds a lot of stuff and this will level the surface for clothing items.

Next, layer your clothes using as few folds as possible. Try to fold the item so that it takes up as much of the area of the suitcase as possible. Also, alternate silky fabrics with cotton and denim. This way items won't shift as much.

I packed all of this, plus one more dress, one pair of jeans, two more tank tops, and a pair of wedges in to my carry-on with room to spare.

And right when you get everything packed, don't leave your suitcase open and leave the room for 20 minutes or else your cat will make him/herself very comfortable.

Moving on...
I save all of my Target bags to pack my shoes. I put each shoe in to a bag separately so that the heels don't damage each other or my clothing. Also, this prevents any dirt on the bottom of your shoes transferring to your clothing.

And then after I cram in my hair straightener, curling iron, blow dryer, little bag of goodies, a bra, and my hairbrush it looks like this.

So that is everything that goes in to my actual "carry on". Let's move on to my "personal item". I use this backpack that I got from Sam's Club. It has a bunch of little zipper pockets and I freaking love zipper pockets so this backpack and I are besties.

Here is most of the crap I cram in to it:

The green bag has my bathroom stuff like toothbrush, razor, headbands, Clarisonic, etc.
Three pairs of sunglasses.
My eyeglasses.
Tampons in the orange bag.
Phone charger.
Some jewelry.
Phone case, Wet Ones, and my favorite coozie.
My one liter baggie of liquids.
My little Louis.
And my purse.

After I took this picture I managed to cram my computer in there, too!

And I won't lie... I had to put my makeup bag in Tyson's backpack and his one liter baggie of liquids is full of more of my stuff. Yes I'm that girl that needs two baggies. Oh and I'm putting my DSLR in his backpack, too. Thank God men pack light.

So that, my friends, is how I pack for a trip. Specifically a trip on a commercial flight without checking a bag.

(I might also mention that I always wear a light jacket on the plane and bring a neck pillow. But those don't count as additional items.)

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekend Fun

Happy Monday everyone! I always like spending time with friends and family before we leave town and that's exactly what we did this weekend.

Friday was pretty laid back. I got my nails done and had a great time hanging out with the ladies at my salon. They always cheer me up and have fun stories to tell. I went with with favorite spring/summer color "Glowstick" by Orly.

Then Saturday Tyson and I had lunch with his sister Neely and her son Sam. (Neely just started a blog, Red Headed Mother, so go check her out!) We ate at Red Onion which is always delicious and then Neely, Sam and I went to the mall to get some goodies. I got this trial size kit of First Aid Beauty. I have heard nothing but good things about their products. Have you tried any of their stuff?

Sam was so good we stopped in Tilt so he could play some games!

Then Saturday night we went to a Crawfish Boil. A friend of ours has done this for about 15 years now. It's so fun to see the "newbies" shuck crawfish for the first time. Sam didn't know what to think!

Then Sunday morning I cleaned house and then went to Tysons' cousins high school graduation. It was so fun to see her graduate and I loved being able to capture it all for her.

Now I have three days to prepare to leave town. I'm thinking about doing a packing blog post. Would anyone be interested in my tips on how to pack for a trip? I will only pack a carry-on for this trip which makes it more challenging but the OCD organizer-list-maker in me will enjoy it!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Confessional Friday

It's Confessional Friday! Weeeeee!!!

// I confess that I am very excited to go to our friend's annual Crawfish Boil on tomorrow night. Not so much for the crawfish but for the socializing. (Have you ever "peeled" a crawfish? It's super nasty and doesn't result in much "meat".)

// I confess that I bought these shorts at Old Navy this week. They are the perfect "comfy but public appropriate" shorts for summer. And it it matters, I'm 5' 10" and these shorts fit me without my butt cheeks hanging out the back.
(Have you been to Old Navy lately? I used to avoid it for having rather lackluster clothing and it was poor quality. They must have some people from Gap working over time because they are really killing it in the solids and basics department. Also, their jewelry is super cute and really good quality.)

//I confess that I also bought three pairs of shorts from American Eagle and I'm more excited about these shorts from Old Navy!

// I confess that I went to the new Sephora here in Joplin and didn't buy A THING. I just got one sample of the Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation.

// I confess that we are going to Miami for Memorial Day Weekend. This is a work/play mini-vacation to get the boat ready for an upcoming poker run. Is it bad that I am already thinking about what to pack and already getting stressed about flying? I really despise the whole process of getting through security at airports. Makes me want to drink three cocktails just talking about it.

And finally, I want to leave you with a little chicken strip.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Recent Chanel Makeup Purchases

Recently I purchased a few Chanel makeup items that I wanted to share with you. I had some gift cards for Macy's and I have been eyeing a few items on their website for the past few months. I knew I wanted to spend the money on something fabulous that I would never spend my real money on. (I get Macy's gift cards for doing online surveys.) I decided I wanted some Chanel items because the packaging is beautiful, and well, I wanted to treat myself! I have never bought any Chanel makeup, although I used to have an eye shadow quad that my aunt gave me a long time ago but I lost it. Sad face.

After watching a girl on YouTube who uses eBates, I signed up and saw that Macy's was giving double cash back. 6% to be exact. So that night, I bit the bullet and bought the products. What's great about eBates is that they give you cash back on your total purchase, as long as you click the link through their website. I got $6.03 back from my Macy's purchase. I also got a free $10.00 gift card for Target! If you do a lot of online shopping, I definitely recommend signing up for eBates. It is seriously cash back in your pocket for a lot of stores that rarely have sales such as Ugg, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Sephora, Nordstrom, etc. Just wait until they send you the email for the store you want to shop at, click the link through their website, and then make your purchase. It is so easy and secure. I wish I would have known about this before! If you are interested in signing up just click this link to get started!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Check it out quick because right now they are offering 15% off to some great stores for their 15th birthday. Most offers are between 2-6% so this is a really great time to shop!

So after a lot of online research deciding on which products and which colors would work for me. I decided to get the Chanel Double Perfection Lumiere compact powder and the Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel bronzing makeup base.

I got the Chanel Double Perfection Lumiere in Beige Rose 22. I could not get matched in a store so I had to search online to see which color would be right for me. I ultimately went with this color based on what a Nordstrom representative suggested for me. This color is just a little bit too dark for me right now. I'm in between my winter and summer color but this will be perfect for summer. As a reference, I am a MAC NW20 Studio Fix Fluid in the winter and in the summer I wear Loreal True Match in W3 or N3.

The bronzer is a perfect color from all over bronzing and contouring. I use my Real Techniques blush brush and swirl it around in the product and then place it underneath my cheek bones, by my ear, and on my forehead by my hairline. I use a powder bronzer for my neck. It is not muddy or orange. It transfers beautifully and actually provides a little bit of coverage.

If you are concerned about trying a cream bronzer, don't be! This bronzer is so easy to work with and is a beautiful, natural color. It doesn't melt off my face in the heat and never looks cakey. Also, a lot of people compare this Chanel powder to the Mac Studio Fix Powder + Foundation. I was going to purchase that until I read so many reviews about how people say it looks cakey on the skin and starts to feel heavy after a few hours. The Chanel powder does not do either. It looks so natural and gives a light to medium coverage depending on how you apply it. (With a powder brush or with the sponge.) I have very oily skin and both products work very will. I do have to blot in the afternoon in my T-zone but that is normal for me.

All-in-all I am very  happy with both products considering I had never seen them in person. I based my purchases solely off what I found on the internet so it was basically a shot in the dark but it worked out great!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!