Travel Guide: Carry On Essentials

Spring is finally here, and that means it’s time to start traveling for Spring Break. There are so many things you may feel you need to go on your new adventure, but there are just some items you can’t leave home without. It’s a given for what to pack in your main suitcase, but what should you bring with you in your carry on?

When I’m traveling, there are a few essentials I must bring no matter what. I want to share those items with you today, so maybe you’ll get some ideas on what you can bring.

Airpods

Wireless headphones are a godsend. They are so easy to store and use that it makes listening to music, videos, and audiobooks more convenient than ever. My favorite is Apple Airpods. They come in a white case that also acts as a charging dock and two earbuds.

I take them with me everywhere even when I’m not traveling. These would be good to have on the plane or even with you in the hotel’s gym. I love the fact that there aren’t any wires to get tangled up in so it is hassle-free to take them out of the case and into your ears every time. The charge lasts a long time too, so I do not constantly have to plug them into a wall.

Portable Charger

A portable charger is a must! We all like to be connected to the internet and social media regularly. The thing is, is that if you don’t have your smartphone, laptop or tablet charged there is no way to use them and capture epic moments on your trip.

It’s easy for your battery to get drained as you take videos and snapshots of what’s going on around you. Let’s not forget using the GPS to get around town so you’ll want to have something small and powered with electricity to get you through the day and resuscitate your devices.

Laptop

Having my MacBook Pro is a necessity for me majority of the time, and when traveling, it’s no different. I’m not going to rant and rave about how great MacBook Pros are today, but I will stick to why I have to have it with me practically at all times. Don’t get me wrong it was a great purchase, but even if you don’t have a MacBook, it is crucial to have some sort of laptop on deck.

I love having a laptop because it is great to get business done on a larger screen while I’m away from home. It stores more and usually has certain capabilities that your smartphone can’t always provide. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of trying to navigate through apps that only allow you certain abilities because it is a mobile version.

If you’re a writer like me, then you know how much of a struggle it is to write on a tiny screen, and all you can use is your thumbs. It’s doable, but not convenient. I enjoy the space and ease it gives me to come up with content and communicate with clients no matter where I am.

It is also a great way to kill time while waiting on your flight. You can surf the web, look at videos, edit photos you name it! Most airports and hotels have free wifi so getting use out of your laptop shouldn’t be a problem while on your trip.

Makeup Travel Bag

If you like to get glammed or wear makeup regularly then packing a makeup bag with brushes and products you love is a must. I like to keep things simple and pack the following:

  • Foundation
  • Contour kit
  • Eyeshadow Palette
  • Liquid Eyeliner
  • Powder
  • Brushes
  • Setting Spray
  • Highlighter
  • Primers
  • Mascara
  • Eyebrow Pencil

It sounds like a lot, but I keep everything compact by getting mini versions in things like mascara and setting spray, palettes, and kits. Having a palette or kit helps you fit multiple shades and product in one item. That will make it easier to carry around and give you various looks. My favorite eyeshadow palettes to bring with me are the Huda Beauty Obsessions and the Morphe Palettes. There’s nothing wrong with looking as good as you feel on your vacation.

Kindle

I probably should have just labeled this E-book, but I have more experience with Kindles. I’ve had the Kindle Paperwhite for about five years now and have loved every second of it.

This is great for avid book readers who have a variety of books they want to read while on the go but don’t want to lug a ton of books around to do it. I mean some books are as thick as an encyclopedia. Who wants to carry that around if you don’t have to?

I love how I can purchase or read any book with only a click of a button. It is compact enough to fit in a purse or backpack and big enough to see the text with ease. All you have to do is charge it with your portable charger, and you’ll be good to go.

Neck Pillow

The neck pillow is definitely a travel essential. It will make sleeping on the plane much more comfortable. You can find them at a Target or Bed Bath and Beyond near you to give you an idea of where to look.

Neck pillows can help you avoid straining your neck because of sleeping while sitting up and being in one spot for possibly hours. The same thing applies to those who choose to drive to their destination. The support and comfort are a win-win for all.

Essential Oils

Essential oils may have not been on your mind when you thought about packing, but let me tell you why they should be.

When you’re on your trip of a lifetime, you don’t want to worry about getting sick. Essential oils are great for boosting the immune system and fighting off infections.

It also supports digestion that way if your stomach is upset or if you’re having indigestion you can get relief naturally.

Not to mention vacations can be draining and make you super tired. If you have the right essential oil on hand, then you can get a quick energy boost without caffeine.

Travel Size Toiletries

Please, please, please don’t forget to pack travel size toiletries. You don’t want to get stuck using the hotel’s cheap shampoos and conditioners that dry your hair out.

It’s so easy to go to a store like Target and get empty travel bottles. Not only will you not have to worry about if the liquid matches the airport’s regulations, but you will also be able to keep up your skin and hair routine without any problems.

So there you have it my travel essentials for 2019. These items are what get me through any trip and some I use regularly. Either way, they’ll be a great addition to your carry on while you travel for Spring Break or any other vacay.

 

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What I Learned After College

I haven’t done a real reflection post in a while and thought that this was the perfect time to do one. I want to share the lessons I learned AFTER college was over and done with. These are some lessons that truly changed my perspective and life for the better.

Not Everyone Is Your Friend

I learned this both in and out of college. I’ve had many friendships that have ended over the years that I thought would last for a lifetime. You’re not going to get along with everyone and shouldn’t expect people to appreciate your friendship the way you do. You’re two different people that have different backgrounds and experiences.

Those experiences shape you into who you are and how you relate which may mean you clash and that’s okay. The important thing is finding those people who you don’t constantly clash with that are your biggest fans and vice versa. Those people who will have your back through it all.

I can proudly say I’ve found that in my two best friends, Veronica and Raquel. I feel sufficient with them being my only two real friends and am blessed to have them in my life.

Your Job Will Be Different Than Your Degree

I heard that this happens, but I didn’t think it would be me. I ended up getting my first real job in insurance and my current job is in collections. That is completely different than advertising, but strangely I’m okay with this. I feel like I ended up where I needed to be and the convenience of my job to my apartment also helps.

I still hate that I worked so hard for my degree to not even do anything with it. All I have is to say I have an education. At times it feels like a waste of money when I see how much my student loans are and how I’m not making ads. Honestly, I don’t think I would have been happy in advertising anyway so it worked out.

Life Happens After College

I thought that because my college experience wasn’t the best that I was doomed for life. To my surprise, it has been the complete opposite. Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies, but it has definitely been better than college.

I don’t deal with bullying anymore and finally, have the independence I dreamed of having in school. I’m starting to figure out what I like and have actual hobbies. It’s way better than going to class and then back to my room trying to make friends with people who don’t care about me.

I have even traveled more than I did in school, but I could use some more travel in my life. I’m still successful and beating the odds. I’m finally getting my emotional and mental health together to where I control it instead of the other way around. I definitely like how things are starting to go regardless of the mistakes I may make along the way.

You Won’t Meet The Love Of Your Life Right Away

This was a hard one because I’ve always longed to be in a relationship and get married someday. I just got out of my first real relationship for the better and realize now that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I ‘ve gotten comfortable with being by myself because being in a verbally, emotionally abusive relationship is not worth my wellbeing. We had good times,  but the bad outweighed them. I finally see that it’s important to take your time to get to know someone and not rush the process.

You’ll probably date quite a few people before you find the one and that is okay. There is no law that says you have to date one person for the rest of your life out of obligation when it’s unhealthy for you. I also don’t need to be married right now or ever to feel complete. I’m my own person and bring something unique to the table and he should too. We don’t have to be each other’s half to make a whole. We need to already be whole to come together in a relationship that will last.

You Should Date You

This is so so so important. It was the biggest and best lessons I could have ever learned. It kind of goes with the whole relationship piece. It’s important to get to know who you really are and want to be. It’s not going to be linear, but it helps to have somewhat of an idea of who you are and where you’re going.

I’m currently dating myself by figuring out what makes me happy, what I like to do, and how to enjoy my own company. I’m finding out that I don’t need a man or anyone else to make me feel whole and love myself. Looking back at my past, I can tell that’s what was missing from the equation. The way I allowed people to treat me and how I treated myself showed that there was a lack of love and confidence.

I’m happy to say that I’m learning to love me and gaining confidence every day. I’m taking care of myself in a holistic way. Let me tell you it feels great! Don’t get me wrong we all need connection, but you shouldn’t be dependent on the connection. Interdependency is the goal and I’m getting closer and closer every day.

These are important lessons I learned after college that is helping me get through life as we speak. Of course, this is just a smaller segment of a larger picture but still has just as much value.

Through the mistakes, heartbreak, and good times I’ve come to realize that life isn’t linear and stops for no one. You have to grab it by the horns and make it instead of it making you. The great thing about life is that you never stop learning.

So I’ll continue to learn and be resilient through the trials I may face. I encourage you to do the same because you’re worth it no matter what people say or how hard life is hitting you right now. You are not your mistakes and you are important. Don’t forget. Trust me I have to remind myself every day.

Top 5 Makeup Staples

Makeup is another passion of mine besides being active and writing. I have a makeup collection that is organized similar to a beauty blogger and am a Rouge member at Sephora. So today I want to put on my beauty blogger hat and share my top 5 makeup staples.

Foundation

I have a variety of foundations to fit my mood for any occasion or day. Finding the perfect foundation is rough and takes a lot of trial and error. Some of my favorite foundations are:

  • Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation in Macao
  • Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 in Warm Almond
  • Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’ R in 420 (soft matte)
  • Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 in Dark

These are my go tos because they give me great coverage and last all day regardless of if I wear a primer or not.

Contour Kit

I absolutely love to contour. I have a couple contour sticks that I love, but none of them beat my Smashbox Contour Palette in Medium/Dark. I can’t get enough of this palette especially the terracotta bronzer. It is the perfect shade for dark skin and it even comes with step-by-step instructions for those just starting out. I use this kit every time I put on makeup even if I tell myself I’m not going to go all out I somehow gravitate toward the bronzer every time.

Highlighter

Having a glow is my signature look. I wouldn’t be me without a shimmer on my cheeks. I try to tone it down, but I can’t go without the shine. Some of my favorite brands to get my highlighters from are:

  • Kylie Cosmetics
  • Huda Beauty
  • Becca
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills

Lipstick

I am so a lipstick kind of girl. If I don’t have anything else on, but want a little makeup on then lipstick is my go to. I love a matte lip and am obsessed with the Kylie Cosmetic Lip Kits for that matte look. I use numerous kinds and finishes of lipsticks, but matte and Kylie Cosmetics are my favorites. The next would have to be Kat Von D.

Mascara

Four Words…Better Than Sex Mascara. As risque as the name is, the Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced Cosmetics is my absolute favorite mascara of all time. I also like the Maybelline Great Lash for a more natural look and the L’oreal Voluminous Million Lashes for that false lash effect at a reasonable price. But back to the Better Than Sex. It gives me that long false lash look that I like without overdoing it. It lasts for a long time so you’re getting your monies worth and throughout the day so your look looks as fresh as it did before you left. Mascara is a must for any makeup look to bring out your eyes and finish the look.

I could go all day about all my makeup favorites and collection, but these are the top five that I must have with me anytime I want to make up my face. I enjoy playing around in makeup and trying new looks, but it’s also nice to have a go-to look when you don’t want to really think about your look in too much depth. I hope you guys check out some of the brands I mentioned and get why I love them so much. Tell me about your favorite makeup brands in the comments and your staples you can’t live without!

My Favorite Place To Blog

Blogging. I have a love for it, and when I want to get into my zone, I have to go to specific places. Sometimes I want it to be quiet and calm while other times I want an environment with stimulants yet still serene.

My Apartment

I always love being by myself in my apartment especially when I want to write. I can control the atmosphere. If I want background noise, I have the authority to turn on music or the television if I want. When I want things quiet, I can turn it all off with the only noise being my thoughts.

I never thought I would enjoy my own company as much as I do when I’m blogging at home. There’s just something about having your own space that allows you to be creative.

Starbucks

When I first started blogging, I would go to Starbucks nearly every day. It has that same variation as my apartment but is usually on the side of being a stimulant and serene. I love the smell of coffee and the ambiance from the people to the music.

I enjoy my favorite latte, mocha, or caramel macchiato while I type away on my MacBook. I get tons of work done every time I go. Starbucks has and will always be one of my favorite places.

The Library

The library is definitely quiet and calm. I don’t go often, but when I do, it helps me focus. I’m able to keep my train of thought effortlessly without the distractions that I sometimes have in my apartment or Starbucks.

I also like the fact that I don’t feel the need to buy anything to stay there for hours. When I’m at Starbucks, I feel like I should always buy something to use the establishment. That’s most likely what you’re supposed to do, but still, it can get expensive. The library is a great way to get all types of work done and get out of the house to change up the scenery.

Bottom line, I love changing up where I write because it helps my creativity flow whether it’s changing from sitting at my desk to the dining room table to the couch while at my place or going to Starbucks and the library. I love to go to these places almost as much as I love the content I create while there.

When it gets warmer, I plan on using my patio more and using the Starbucks patio too. Being outside is another great way to get my creative juices going, but I digress. I hope you enjoyed learning about some of my favorite places to blog. These places help me get into the zone to create content that I think you guys will enjoy.

DIY Vanilla Latte

I love trying to make dupes of my favorite drinks and smoothies. This time I tried to master the Vanilla Latte similar to what I get from Starbucks. I’m trying to cut back on how much I eat and drink out so this recipe will be perfect for those days I don’t want just regular coffee and need the kick that espresso gives.

You may feel that espresso is bad for you and may have even been told to cut back, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not all bad. Espresso actually has many benefits that you’ll love.

Better Concentration

The energy you get from espresso can also make it easier for the brain to focus on daily activities. It fires up dopamine in your brain to help concentration and fight exhaustion. You will even notice your productivity level increase, but be careful to not consume too much because it will affect your sleep.

Helps With Weight Loss

You probably didn’t know that espresso can make your workout feel less intense. It helps you endure more to lose weight with all the energy you get from it. You also will be less sore and the espresso itself is low in calories to aid in your weight loss goals. So take the time to have a little espresso before your workout. Trust me you’ll see a difference.

Boosts Mood

We all know that the caffeine in espresso is a powerful stimulant. It can help with low moods throughout the day especially if you suffer from depression by helping to remove exhaustion and boost brain activity too.

Loaded With Antioxidants

Just like coffee, espresso has tons of antioxidants that can help with inflammation, preventing diseases, and even protect you from UV rays and pollution to name a few.

Those are just a few of the benefits of espresso. Go to Expresso Experts to learn more about the health benefits it has.

The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Milk of Choice
  • 2 teaspoons of Instant Espresso (Medaglia D’Oro)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Syrup (Torani)

This recipe is super simple and super delicious! You start by putting 1 cup of milk into a saucepan and heat it until you see vapor and a slight simmer. While that is going on, put 2 teaspoons of instant espresso and 2 tablespoons of vanilla syrup (I use Torani but any syrup will do) in your mug or travel mug. Once your milk has a slight simmer and vapor coming out, pour it into the mug with the rest of the ingredients and stir. Now enjoy your latte!

I hope you guys try this recipe out and tell me what you think!

 

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