The Perfect Travel Bag – and a Braid!

After seeing them all over the blogosphere, I set my heart on the Lo and Sons OG bag. When I saw the new plum color (and had the excuse of an upcoming trip), I decided to make the splurge.

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I love it! It has so many pockets! I’ve already carried it to work twice (it fits my laptop perfectly), and I love how easily it fits over the handle of your suitcase. The lining is a really pretty lavender color.

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It’s definitely on the bigger side for a bag, but not too big to carry day-to-day. 

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(apologies for the bare feet!)

As my hair has been getting longer again (and winter which here means humidity and frizzy hair!) , I’ve been experimenting with different ways to pull it back. I tried doing a side french braid and then twisted it into a bun.

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Paired with rain boots and leggings!

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A Weekend in the Sun!

We spent a fun-filled last weekend down in southern California to celebrate Nick’s brother’s and sister’s birthdays (as well as mine, which was on Monday). We had a really great time celebrating and hanging out with family.

With Seattle’s heat wave, I decided to wear a jersey knit skirt instead of leggings for the flight on Friday. Unknowingly, my sister and I completely coordinated down to our denim jackets and pink scarves! To keep it comfy for the flight, I wore my new James Perse skirt with a Bailey 44 top, jean jacket, lightweight pink scarf, and flip flops.

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Top: Bailey 44 from Amazon, Skirt – James Perse from Shopbop, Jacket – Nordstrom BP, Scarf – Shopbop, Flip flops – Rainbows

I started off Saturday with an awesome run on the beach. These were the killer views from my run! I love running on the sand, it’s such a great workout, and there’s nothing like running alongside the waves.

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Saturday day we helped prep for the party, and spent some time just laying out and enjoying the sunshine. I wore my swimsuit all day, but wore another jersey skirt and top over the top. 

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Top: Susana Monaco from Shopbop, Skirt: Forever 21, Flip flops – Rainbows

It was a gorgeous day to get some sunshine!

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Nick changed before I had a chance to get ready, so we snapped a fun picture on the patio! 

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Swimsuit: Victoria Secret

Then, party time! The party was Vegas themed complete with blackjack, poker, and roulette tables, so I wore a Vegas style little black dress with my anniversary sale Pedro Garcia booties. I went for gold jewelry with lots of gold bracelets and bangles and simple hoop earrings. 

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Dress – Shopbop, Booties – Pedro Garcia from Nordstrom

Sunday was another morning run on the beach!

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Then, we headed to 3 Thirty 3 for breakfast burritos and a bloody mary’s. Their breakfast burritos are amazing. You pick everything you want in them, and they made mine tortilla-less. The make-your-own bloody mary bar is also fantastic. They bring you a cup with vodka, ice, and salt on the rim, and then there are tons of hot sauces, spices, tomato juice mix, and veggies that you can combine to make it exactly how you like it. I wore my new Bailey 44 dress and wedges, and accessorized with my birthday present from Nick’s sister, a selection of adorable gold bangles including one with an “E.” 

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Dress – Bailey 44 from Neiman Marcus, Wedges – DVF from Zappos

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Finally, today we headed home. We had a 7am flight, so needed something to just throw on and go. I wore the same jacket and scarf that I wore for the flight down with a white top and my wonder under crop leggings.

Packing for the Weekend

packingImg: Flickr – George Eastman House


I love lists. I especially love making lists and checking things off. I also hate forgetting things when I travel. A few trips back I started using OneNote to make a packing list for each trip. After multiple trips, I’ve now come up with a basic template that I can use for weekend trips. It requires a bit of tweaking, but is a great starting point, and makes planing and packing that much easier.

This list is for a weekend trip with a flight. I never check my suitcase, so I not only have to be concerned with my liquids, but also for space.

Wear on plane:

  • Wunder under leggings (sometimes I will sub these out for a jersey knit skirt if it’s summertime)
  • Tank top
  • Knit top or sweater when it’s cooler outside
  • Over-layer (hoodie or denim jacket, depending on length of flight)
  • Scarf
  • Comfortable shoes (Toms, Converse, and flip flops are my favorite options, boots in the fall and winter)
  • Basic jewelry (simple stud earrings, silver bracelet, and watch) that can go through the metal detector
  • Fuzzy socks and an eye-mask (in my bag for the flight)


  • Friday night (depending on destination)
  • Saturday daytime
  • Saturday night
  • Sunday daytime
  • Monday (flight home) 

Workout clothes:

  • 2 sports bras
  • 2 pairs socks
  • 2 tanks
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts/capris 
  • Running shoes

Liquids bag:

  • BB cream or foundation
  • Eye cream
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen (formula for face and body)
  • Face wash
  • Eye make-up remover
  • Lash adhesive
  • Hair spray
  • Perfume

Medical liquids bag:

  • Contact solution and extra contacts
  • Anti-chafing gel
  • Any other medicines in liquid or gel form

Make-up bag:

  • Powder
  • Blush
  • Bronzer
  • Brushes
  • Lash curler 
  • Mascara
  • Eye-liner
  • Naked palette or other shadow palette 
  • False lashes

Personal care:

  • Clarisonic
  • Toothbrush
  • Cleansing cloths
  • Deodorant
  • Dry shampoo
  • Bobby pins and extra hair ties
  • Headband
  • Brush
  • Travel-size straightening iron and hair-dryer
  • Q-tips
  • Nail polish remover wipes
  • Glasses
  • Medicine 


  • Headphones
  • Phone charger
  • iPad and charger
  • Laptop and charger (optional)
  • Kindle and charger
  • P&S camera and charger

Finally, some of my favorite packing tips and tricks that I developed.

I roll each outfit together, oftentimes complete with jewelry. That way I don’t have to worry about what I’m wearing or overpacking. Each day or event, I just grab and go

I always bring workout clothes, a swimsuit, and a pair of heels. I love going for runs when I’m traveling. It’s a great way to fit in a workout anywhere, and if it’s a new place, it’s a great way to explore. All you need is a pair of shoes. Ab workouts can also be done without any equipment. For the swimsuit, you never know when you’ll need or want one, and really, who wants to borrow a swimsuit? A pair of heels is also key. They will dress up any outfit, and you’ll be ready to go if plans change.

For the flights themselves, layering is a must. You never know if it’s going to be really hot or really cold on the flight, regardless of the time of year.

Walla Walla Spring Release Weekend


With celiac, beer is out of the picture. But, I’m definitely able to enjoy a fantastic glass (or two!) of wine. When our good friends Eric and Nicole suggested we join them and some friends for their annual trip to Walla Walla for the Spring Release weekend, we were all in.

With seven of us coming from Seattle, we decided to get a house off of VRBO. It was a great choice! We were walking distance from downtown, and I was able to get in some great runs in the mornings.

We started the trip with Abeja. Abeja’s grounds were beautiful, but unfortunately, we weren’t overly impressed with the wines.

Next up, was Reynvaan. Reynvaan is a relatively new winery started in 2004, and they recently closed their winery (after this spring) to list members only. Luckily, with our 2010 Futures order that we made, we’re now on the list Smile. We got to meet Matt, Mike, and Gale, and had an absolutely fabulous time tasting some of the best wines that I’ve ever had. Every Syrah was unique and yet also spectacular. We purchased 2 bottles of the 2009 The Unnamed Syrah, and 2 bottles each of 2010 The Contender Syrah, In the Rocks Syrah, and the Unnamed Syrah.


Then we headed to Waters. We met Jamie and Dreux, and tasted through their series. My definite favorites (and our purchases) were the 2010 Tremolo and the 2009 Loess Syrah (Syrah became a definite trend of the weekend!).



Then Sleight of Hand. We didn’t love anything, but were also in a hurry to make it back to the house. We did make time for some lunch at the Andrae’s Kitchen food truck. The food was awesome. I had their fish tacos, Nick enjoyed his burger, and other folks also had burgers, fries, and poutine.

Finally, we finished day one with the Corliss Spring Release party. We got to enjoy some barrel samples, some fabulous wine, and of course had to make a Syrah purchase. We picked up half a case of the 2007 Syrah (which we ended up sharing with Andrea and Justin), and a bottle each of the 2005 Cabernet Franc and 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. Of course, we’re now on the Corliss list as well…..

We started Saturday morning with the Figgins release party. The Figgins family started Leonetti Cellar, one of the big names in Walla Walla wine (and one of the infamous lists to get on the list). They make one red blend, and also had a fabulous 2010 Riesling. We picked up two bottles of the blend, and got on the list for the June release.



We then made our way downtown for the rest of the afternoon. First, we started with Charles Smith. Unfortunately Charles wasn’t there, but we did taste some great affordable wines, picked up two bottles of white (Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay) and pre-purchased (of course!) the 2009 “Royal City” Stoneridge Vineyard Syrah.


Otis Kenyon is another great affordable winery, and we were all big fans of their 2009 Carmenere. We also picked up a bottle of the 2008 Cab Sauv.

Then Spring Valley. Nicole is friends of the family, and their wines were quite good, although I must say that my favorite were the chocolate truffles made by Bright’s candies with the Nina Lee Syrah.

Finally, finished with Rotie Cellars before dinner. Nick was a fan of the 2010 Southern Blend, so we picked up two bottles.

Our last day, we went to L’Ecole No 41. It was a great finish, as we found a fantastic summer white with their Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend (good enough that we all shared a case!).

Downside of a fabulous trip? We had to make a wine budget category for Mint!

My Top Ten Travel Essentials

I’m back from Japan (with a trip to California thrown in), but I won’t ignore this blog any longer! Since I’m still in the travel mood, I thought I’d post about my top ten travel must-haves.

1. Packing List

I adore lists, making them, checking off the items, everything about them. I use OneNote for everything (I love that I can easily sync between my laptop, desktop, phone, and iPad), and I have a whole travel section. I keep a base list of the essentials that I need, figure out my outfits for the trip, and then add on anything unique (like convertor plugs when I’m traveling abroad).

2. Carry-on Suitcase

Regardless of how long my trip is, where I’m going, or what the occasion, I always use a carry-on sized suitcase. I love having my stuff with me at all times, which also means that if my flight is delayed I can easily pop on an earlier flight or make last minute changes. Smaller suitcases are also much easier to lug around train stations, airports, and walks to hotels.

I personally love the new 4-wheeled suitcases. So much easier to wheel down the plane aisle or through the airport. Whenever Nick and I aren’t traveling together, I steal his Samsonite spinner, and eventually, I plan to pick up one of my own.


3. Large Tote or Messenger Bag

I still haven’t found the perfect bag. I’m eyeing and am on the waitlist for the Lo and Sons O.G. (Overnight & Gym Bag), but a nice roomy bag is the perfect accompaniment to your carry-on suitcase. Currently I’ve used both a Tory Burch tote for beach vacations and a Timbuk2 messenger bag for other trips. Use your bag to carry your wallet, entertainment, sleeping essentials, and medications. I also like to keep my toothbrush, hair brush and dry shampoo, face wipes, moisturizer, and make-up easily accessible for freshening up.


4. Wallet that Doubles as a Clutch

With limited suitcase space, bringing multiple purses and bags is a great way to use up room that would be better purposed for clothes! I recently purchased this halogen zip-around wallet from Nordstrom, which has plenty of card slots, a spot for a passport, a spot for cash, and a small zippered pouch for change (especially important in certain countries). It’s also easy to zip your phone and ticket right into the wallet, so they’re always handy.


Photo credit: Nordstrom

5. Lightweight Cross-Body Bag

Cross-body bags are the perfect travel purses. Nylon bags are lightweight, and compress down great in your suitcase for transport. This Marc by Marc Jacobs Nylon Sasha cross-body bag is a recent Nordstrom purchase, and it is ideal for travel. Plenty of interior pockets, room for my camera (and lenses) and iPad, and easy to carry.


Photo credit: Nordstrom

6. A Fabulous Cashmere Scarf

Airplanes are notorious for being fickle with temperature, although for some reason I always end up freezing. A scarf that’s big enough to double as a wrap is perfect for using as a blanket on a cold flight, and then throwing over a tee to add some pizazz to a simple outfit. I love my pink leopard print scarf that I purchased from Henri Bendel while on a trip to New York, but these (here and here) Yarnz scarves are a fabulous options.

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Photo credit: Shopbop

7. Fuzzy Socks, Neck Pillow, Eye Mask, and Headphones

Sleeping on planes is never easy (especially for those of us relegated to traveling in coach), but being able to rest your head and block out noise and sound makes it a lot more bearable. Add in fuzzy socks so you can keep your feet warm and take off your shoes after takeoff.

Even when I’m not flying, a neck pillow makes sleeping in the car much easier, and you never know when you’re going to want to block out the light with an eye mask, or walk around someone’s cold house or hotel room.

8. Entertainment

Regardless of where you’re headed, you’ll likely have periods of downtime (either on your travels, or at your final destination). I bring my iPad and my Kindle, both of which are loaded up with plenty of books, magazines, and games. I also like to download a guide for wherever I’m visiting, particularly if I’m traveling out of the country and may have limited email or data access.

9. Simple Accessories

With my planned outfits I’ll often throw in a few more pieces, but I always make sure I have the basics: a neutral and stylish pair of sunglasses, a statement watch, a simple bracelet, and stud earrings.

10. A Cute and Comfy Travel Outfit

I’m not a fan of constricting clothing on long flights or car rides, but I’m also not a fan of wearing pajamas in public. Instead, I go for super comfortable but still somewhat stylish travel outfits. For beach or summertime vacations, I love maxi skirts and dresses. For year-round travel, leggings and a tunic feel like my pjs, but look socially acceptable!

And the one thing I always forget, plenty of room for souvenirs!