Traveling

Before traveling there are a few things that I plan out in advance to ensure that the trip runs smoothly. My priority when I’m on the road is to make things as easy for myself as possible. Travel – Especially international travel – Is hard on your body, so I do my best to anticipate my needs and plan accordingly.

Packing:

My suitcase is usually filled with separates and dresses. The rule for separates is that nothing goes into my bag unless it can be worn twice. Black & white pieces are great because they’re versatile and can easily be mixed & matched to create flattering new looks.

A great way to give your looks an eye-catching touch is with accessories. Whenever I travel I pack jewelry, statement pieces, scarves, and belts to personalize each look. A cute striped tee can be paired with slim fitting cropped pants and a colorful statement necklace or with a flirty skater skirt & blazer combo.

Want more efficient packing tips? Check out my Wanderlust post!

Traveling Packing Carry On Luggage Bags San Francisco Fashion Blogger Travel Diary Street Style

Food:

My approach to diet while I’m traveling is threefold. First, I research restaurants near my hotel & the places I’m visiting. It’s good to know what’s available to you so that you can make healthful choices. Second, I’ll track down the grocery stores or corner shops nearby so that I can stock up on basics once I touch down. Finally, I pack some non-perishable snacks in my bag to ensure that I don’t end up miserable & starving. “Hangry” should be avoided at all costs!

Some of my go-to snacks for my purse or carry on are trail mix, nuts, garbanzo bean snacks, dried fruit, kale chips, Larabars, and pouches of protein powder.

I also pack ginger tea, my go-to cure for an upset stomach, and supplements in my toiletry kit. Supplements aren’t part of my day-to-day routine, but when you’re on the road you may miss out on some of your daily fruits & veggies and you’re more likely to get sick so supplements are a great way to keep your immune system in fighting shape.

Water:

I can’t stress this enough – Water is one of the most valuable things you can load up on when you’re traveling. From saving your skin to ensuring a good night’s sleep – The benefits of hydration can’t be overstated.

So either bring an empty water bottle through TSA screening and fill it up once you’re in the airport, or buy an eco-friendly bottle before your flight. And – Here’s the important part – Keep refilling it for your entire trip!!

Jetlag:

Hydration, resetting your body, and getting onto the local time are the three keys to surviving international travel. Here are my tips for your next trip:

  1. Drink tons of water before & on your flight
  2. Skip the caffeine, sugar & alcohol. Really!
  3. When you land get outside and do something active in the sunshine. The light will help your body reset its internal clock and getting moving can keep you from getting sore or stiff. Landing at night? Try squeezing in a walk, a run, a swim – Anything to get your body moving before you crash!
  4. If it’s daytime when you land your mission is to stay awake! Try to stay up until at least 7pm local time – This will help you wake up in the correct time zone the next day.
  5. Magnesium has been shown to aid in stress relief and help with sleep so I always pack a few Natural Calm Packets when I travel.

Traveling Packing Carry On Luggage Bags San Francisco Fashion Blogger Travel Diary Street Style

{Images from Wanderlust}

Fitness:

Walking is my favorite way to see a new city and I highly recommend bringing a comfortable pair of shoes on your next trip. Whether you’re wandering around the local landmarks, finding a restaurant, or just exploring, this is a great way to see the sights and stay active.

If I’m staying in a big city I’ll research gyms, check out what my hotel has to offer, or plan a running route in advance. If it’s a fun tropical vacation I’ll spend my trip swimming, snorkeling, diving, horseback riding, ATVing, and the like. And if you’re planning a relaxing-middle-of-no-where trip, hiking and bike riding are great ways to see the countryside.

Want more tips? Check out what these jetsetting babes have to say – Park & Cube’s Travel Style, The Chriselle Factor’s 5 Tips To Recover From Jetlag, and Carry On Living’s 10 Tips For Staying Healthy While Traveling.

How do YOU prepare for a trip?

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Shopping, Bubbles & Beauty!

I had such a great time being a part of the W Hotel Inspiration Series in July that I jumped at the chance to partner with LA-based boutique M Dot and fellow San Francisco blogger Kathleen of KatwalkSF for a fabulous shopping event a the W next week.

San Francisco Fashion Blogger Shopping Event MDot KatwalkSF

This fun San Francisco-meets-LA event will feature local beauty favorite The Balm Cosmetics, Costella Handbags, 9Luxe Jewelry, and more! There will be a dessert bar, fashion illustrations, music, and bubbles.

RSVP here and join Kat & I for a night of sweet treats, Fall shopping & more!

San Francisco Fashion Blogger Shopping Event MDot KatwalkSF

And be sure to stay tuned for a sneak peek of the beautiful fashion that M Dot will be showcasing at the event.

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Carry On Packing

It’s important to start a trip out on a positive note. There’s nothing worse than being beside yourself with excitement over a trip and then having a series of unfortunate events put you in a horrible mood. Whether you’re hoping on a 60 minute flight or jetting across the globe, ensuring that your carry on has everything you need is important to set the tone for your vacation

What should you pack? Read on for some of my tips & suggestions.

When I travel I’ll have a purse and a carry on bag. That’s all. Truthfully, I haven’t checked a bag since I came back from 6 months abroad when I was in college.

Traveling Carry On Packing Toiletry Kit Travel Must Haves

{Some of my favorites – Sophistry eye cream & oil cleanser, Kora Organics & The Balm}

Toiletry Kit:

Want more tips? Check out Things I Love: Travel Edition!

Food:

Entertainment:

  • Electronics – Laptop, iPad, phone & my cords all get packed neatly in my purse. This is where little pouches & zipper bags come in handy, personally I’m a Longchamp girl.
  • Books & magazines – I love reading fitness magazines on the plane, not only are they thinner than fashion mags, but they’ll often contain tips & relevant information for traveling which can help keep you on track. I’ll also pack my iPad with Nook app and at least one book.
  • Notepads – I’m a writer through-and-through. I always have my planner and 1-2 notepads in my purse at all times. Taking notes, journaling, planning my trip, scheduling…

Kate Spade Passport Cover Traveling Carry On Packing Toiletry Kit Travel Must Haves

{Kate Spade Carlisle Street Passport Holder}

I’ve been traveling solo since I was 21 and moved to Rome to study art history. Over the years I’ve created some simple rituals and routines that help me get through my flights in relative comfort.

Here’s my tried & true international travel routine:

Attire - Comfort & layers are key. I’ll usually wear stretchy, comfortable black pants, a tunic, blazer, and carry a pashmina {the perfect alternative to the itchy, icky plane blankets}. I’ll also wear slip on shoes and have a thick, cozy pair of socks in my purse to change into once the wheels are up.

Read more about my Travel Style here.

Beauty - Once we’re in the air I’ll head to the restroom, wash & clean my face, and apply this divine Eve Lom rescue mask. I am not exaggerating when I say that this is life altering, your skin will thank you. I’ll also brush my teeth & slather coconut oil on my skin.

Food & Drink – Water, water, water. I can’t emphasize the benefits of guzzling water enough. It will save your skin, encourage sleep, and even help you fight jetlag! Skip the caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and sugary beverages. Not only will they dehydrate you, they can also mess with your sleeping patterns.

I’ll pack a healthy, nutrient-rich snack for the plane – Celery & carrot sticks are a great source of hydration and a homemade nut, seed & dried fruit trailmix will give you some protein to fill you up.

Extra long flight? Protein bites are a great energizing snack.

Sleep – I’m not a good sleeper under the best of conditions but I try to book overnight international travel to give myself a chance to snooze on the plane to fight jetlag. Here are my top sleep-encouraging tips:

Check out more of my Top Travel Tips here.

What’s in YOUR carry on?

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Fitness Friday: Anywhere Leg Workout

While I love a great weight training session, sometimes you just don’t have the time or access to a fully stocked gym. This is a simple leg workout that you can do anywhere – When you’re on the road for work, taking a vacation, or just can’t get to the gym.

These are basic bodyweight movements that you can adjust as needed – Simply add weights or resistance bands to increase difficulty.

Squats:

Squats are a great movement that work a number of muscle groups – If you have bad knees you can modify the move by not squatting as deeply.

Leg Workout Fitness Friday San Francisco Fitness Blogger Nike Workout Gear Lunges Squats Side Lunge

Top – Nike c/o JD Sports

Capri Pants – Nike c/o JD Sports

Shoes – Brooks

Fitness Tracker – Misfit Shine {post coming up on this soon!}

Tips for the perfect squat:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  2. Keep your chest & head up
  3. Squat as low as your body easily permits
  4. Repeat for 3 sets of 10

Interested in adding a barbell? Check out Base Body Babe’s Top Squat Tips.

Front Lunge:

Front and walking lunges are a great way to tone your legs – You can easily increase the difficulty by carrying dumbbells or a weighted medicine ball.

Leg Workout Fitness Friday San Francisco Fitness Blogger Nike Workout Gear Lunges Squats Side Lunge

Tips for the perfect lunge:

  1. Stand comfortably with legs hip width apart giving you a good base
  2. Step forward with one leg, ensuring that your knee doesn’t cross in front of your toes
  3. Sink your back leg down to hover directly above the ground
  4. Bring your back leg forward and repeat the movement on the other side
  5. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 on each leg

Most important thing to keep in mind – If it hurts, don’t do it. If you have sensitive knees don’t go for a full lunge!

Want to add a little cardiovascular work to your lunges? Try jumping lunges!

Side Lunge:

Want to strengthen your inner legs? Moves like lunges and squats are just the ticket. Mix up your lunge workout with some side lunges.

Leg Workout Fitness Friday San Francisco Fitness Blogger Nike Workout Gear Lunges Squats Side Lunge

Tips for the perfect side lunge:

  1. Start in a standing position and bend at the waist as you extend your leg to the side
  2. Keep your knee in line with your toes
  3. Push yourself back to a standing position using the extended leg and repeat on the other side
  4. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 on each side

If you want to brush up on your basics, check out – How To Do Lunges.

{Photos by Mr. Bethanimalprint}

What’s YOUR go-to leg workout?

Leg Workout Fitness Friday San Francisco Fitness Blogger Nike Workout Gear Lunges Squats Side Lunge

Thank you to UK-based activewear retailer JD Sports for sponsoring this post. They have a great online selection including all your favorite brands, even the Rita Ora for Adidas line!

After JD Sports reached out, Bethann of Bethanimalprint and I decided to head to Mountain View for an afterhours workout in the park. Be sure to check out Bethanimalprint to see how you can get her killer abs!

Disclaimer: Prior to making any dramatic changes to your fitness routine or diet you should consult a physician.

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Apartment Decorating

I’ve been wanting to do a home décor post since I moved into my “new” place this past November. So when the fabulous Miss Lydia Hudgens came out to San Francisco recently I decided to take the plunge.

Which meant, naturally, running around like a lunatic the night before to finish hanging shelves and building bookcases…

Apartment Decoring Home Decor Design Interior Decorating San Francisco Fashion Lifestyle Blogger Black & White

When I moved last year I decided to donate of all my furniture and get a fresh start in the new place, so it took some time to accumulate all the pieces.

A simple black & white color scheme was my go-to with some fun metallic accents like pillows and small glass tables.

Apartment Decoring Home Decor Design Interior Decorating San Francisco Fashion Lifestyle Blogger Black & White

In the bedroom I stepped up the metallic touches with fun, eye-catching mirrored bedside tables and a matching oversized dresser {which you’ll see when I share my jewelry collection!}

The black & white stripes and bold silver furniture struck me as a great combination and I was quite pleased with how everything came together. Even if I did have to assemble the doors and drawers for the bedside tables…

Apartment Decoring Home Decor Design Interior Decorating San Francisco Fashion Lifestyle Blogger Black & White

{Photos by Lydia Hudgens Photography}

The layout of the apartment is long and skinny so I wanted to keep clutter to a minimum and not inadvertently overwhelm the space. Minimalist black & white prints and mirrors help with the flow of the space.

Sorry about the funny angles for all of these images, it’s clearly quite a challenge to photograph small, narrow spaces!

What’s YOUR decorating style?

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