Make Your Life Easier With Packing Cubes

Two words- packing cubes. Or “garment cases” according to MUJI, which sounds nicer I suppose. I daresay that no other product has made traveling easier for me. Packing cubes are thin, very light, flexible organizers for your clothes and undergarments when you travel. MUJI sells them in three sizes, small, medium and large, with a two-layer option for the medium and large sizes. Not only do they help organize your clothes, but packing everything into a suitcase is a breeze.

I have two medium cubes and one small cube. I tend to group garment-types together into one side of a cube. For example, I will put my shirts into one zippered section of the medium cube, and pants into the other side. I use the small cube on longer trips for socks and underwear. You can either return a worn item to its respective spot in the cube, or slowly shift all of the worn items to one side of the cube to keep them separated from your clean clothes. No longer do you need to rummage through your entire suitcase, unfolding every single item, looking for your polka dot shorts which will without a doubt be on the bottom. You will know exactly where it is in the cube.

On a nine day trip to Europe during winter, my two medium cubes and one small cube fit my clothes perfectly. However, I was wearing most of my outer layers like sweaters and jackets every day, so I did not need to pack much. On a recent four day trip to Québec, I fit all of my clothes and undergarments into one medium cube.

Below is a link to MUJI’s website, but I recommend going to a store to look at the sizes in person:
http://www.muji.us/store/catalogsearch/result/?category=all&q=garment+case

Happy packing!

 

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This is not a sponsored post. 

Québec City in 2.5 Days

I sit here in the airport, eating my maple covered pecans, reviewing my short but sweet trip to Québec City with my family.

Day 1-  Wednesday, 4.12.17

I started with my usual airport meal- a Jamba Juice smoothie and a tomato twist. All seemed to be going well until I was randomly chosen for a more thorough security check. But it was surprisingly fast, and the flight was quicker than expected. We celebrated the start of the vacation at Chocolats Favoris.  They had a huge selection of chocolate sauces to top their ice-cream with. I got biscuits and cream ice cream topped with sea salt dark chocolate. I couldn’t leave Canada without taking a photo with milk in a bag! Dinner at La Bûche was incredible. We tried a sampler of venison tartar, rabbit, smoked salmon, and a croquette. And who would have thought to put maple syrup on chicharron…

 

Day 2- Thursday, 4.13.17

We filled ourselves up with fresh croissants and pastries, then headed off to the Aquarium du Québec. There were gorgeous jelly fish, and huge variety of other salt water and freshwater marine life. I was very excited to pet some stingrays. They were so soft and cute! After walking around for hours, we rapidly devoured our meals at Cochon Dingue. Two thumbs up for the lobster roll. The salmon tartar and tuna taco were good, but I was not a fan of the barbecue sauce used on the poutine.

 

Day 3- Friday, 4.14.17

We walked all around old Québec, finally ending up in the Marché du Vieux-Port,  where we got groceries for dinner. We passed by a French LUSH on the way and had to go in. Nice to know they smell the same in different countries. After having lunch in the market, we walked back home. I found some cool wall art, but my pose with a baguette got blocked by a car that had to park in front of me even though the rest of the street was empty… While the Funiculaire was tempting (a lift that brings you straight up to the top of the hill), we walked and I was rewarded with salted-caramel-almond-kettle popcorn half-way up. And then I was told I can become anything I wanted, so I became a flower. Finished up the day with an amazing spread of fresh cheeses, pâtés, smoked salmon, tomatoes, pears, a quiche, and lasagna. May or may not have gone back to Chocolats Favoris for more ice cream.

Day 4- Saturday, 4.15.17

Still sitting in the airport because my flight has been delayed twice. Moved onto the maple fudge… not complaining.

Travel Journal- Québec

Scrapbooking- always a fun idea, but never done.

For years I have wanted to scrapbook memories from trips, only to collect ticket stubs and have them sit in a box untouched. On a recent trip to Prague, I met a lovely couple from Wisconsin, in a beer museum. Sitting in the dark cellar, we sampled beers and I had the honor to sign Danny’s travel journal. He is a newspaper writer, and told us that everyday he writes or adds something to his journal. It was an incredible log of all of the places he has been to around the world. As much as I want to be someone that journals everyday, I just never seem to make it more than two days. As a compromise, and with the strength of inspiration from Danny’s journal, I have decided to try to keep a travel journal. Below are photos of my journal pages from Budapest, Vienna, Prague, and Québec.

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The supplies:

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  • The journal– I chose a book that wasn’t too large, and that has a soft cover so it is flexible. This was important when I was buying it because I knew I wanted to add in a lot of papers.
  • Washi tape- good for simultaneously taping and decorating, but not so permanent.
  • Double sided tape– good for taping in things that you definitely don’t want to move. For example, I tended to tape down the background map with the double sided tape, and the tickets etc. with washi tape.
  • pens, white- out, etc.- I tend not to write much beyond the date and the location.

 

Let me know if you have tried to keep a travel journal!

Minimalist Packing for Québec Trip

Written on Trip Day 2

Of course the day before I leave for Canada, sunbathers are out in Central Park enjoying the 80 degree weather. But I cannot complain about the chilly 38 degree weather here, after all, a trip is a trip! These are all of the items that I took with me on a four day trip.

The packing list:IMG_2123.JPG

I always make a packing list, either hand written or on my phone. This helps to ensure that I won’t forget anything (“anything” usually meaning my toothbrush). Plus crossing things off lists is very satisfying.

 

The travel outfit:IMG_2047.JPG

I have spent enough years overpacking for trips, and have learned what I use and what I don’t. Because it is in the mid 40s to low 50s where I am staying, pants and layers are a must. On the plane, I am wearing thermal pants, a thin wool turtle neck and the jewelry I will be taking. A hair clip is a must for me. I am also wearing a light wool jacket and scarf.

The clothes:

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The house I am staying in has a washing machine, so that helped me pack light.

All together I am taking:

  • 1 pair of thermal pants
  • 1 nice/ thin pair of pants 
  • T-shirts
  • 1 thin wool turtleneck
  • 1 thin sweater and sweatpants for lounging/ sleeping
  • 1 thick wool sweater
  • underwear for everyday, because you just never know
  • 3 pairs of socks, and 2 bras.
  • sneakers
  • light walking shoes 

Final assessment: I didn’t need the thinner pair of pants or second bra.

The extras:

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Besides clothes, these are my other necessities.

  • Passport and wallet
  • iPod, headphone, and charger
  • Boar bristle brush
  • Lip balm, hand cream, and coconut oil to make sure I stay moisturized
  • Small perfume, mints, and a dish for my watch and jewelry 
  • Sunglasses and gloves

Final assessment: I ended up not actually taking the instant camera, or the hat, but I used everything else shown.

The art supplies:

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I have started a travel journal, and I am bringing supplies to be able to add to it.

The forgotten bits:

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Despite having a packing list, there are always a few items that you are thankful to remember last minute.

  • Hand sanitizer is a must
  • A comb is very, very necessary for me
  • Somehow, someone always needs tissues
  • Extra plastic bags and a ziplock bag
  • A hair tie to keep my hair in a braid when I sleep
  • Pocket hand warmers are just awesome. Not necessary, but amazing when you’re walking around outside all day.

The fun part:

Fitting it all in a carry on.

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Sorry for the dark photo, but everything fits!

I put my sneakers, clothes, toiletries and makeup, and brush into my carry on. I used a small Herschel duffle bag. All my other bits and bobs went into my backpack. I forgot to take a photo of that but just imagine anything that is not in the photo above, in a large gray backpack.

Stay tuned for how I packed my toiletries!

 

 

Minimalist toiletries for Québec Trip

As a skincare junkie, trying to pick and choose what toiletries I will take on a trip is like choosing a favorite child. It’s just wrong. Yet, because they are inanimate objects, I didn’t hurt any feelings by choosing my essential products.

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The toiletries:

From on top of the pink bag, moving downward 

  • coconut oil– all around moisturizer and I use a few drops in place of conditioner
  • toothpaste. 
  • deodorant.
  • Shampoo bar– can also double as a body wash.
  • A little piece of African Black Soap– a facial cleanser
  • Evan Healy Rose Cleansing milk– gentle facial cleanser
  • Evan Healy Rose water– first step after cleansing
  • Mad Hippie Antioxidant Facial Oil- serum/ moisturizer
  • Juana Candlenut body wash
  • raw whipped shea butter
  • toothbrush
  • Aveda body lotion- didn’t use it
  • Ren face lotion 
  • eye cream
  • jade roller- for facial massage
  • (not pictured) facial sunscreen

Final assessment: Because it was so cold, I used my more moisturizing rose cleanser instead of my African Black Soap, so I didn’t need to bring that. Also, I am terrible at using body lotion, and I just used my coconut oil.

The makeup:

I am not a makeup person, and I didn’t even use half of the stuff I brought. I did bring:

  • clear eyebrow gel- my personal desert island essential.
  • Lancome liquid eyeliner- my second desert island essential
  • Lancome mascara- didn’t use it
  • black eyeliner- didn’t use it
  • Dior concealer- didn’t use it
  • pink mini Marc Jacobs lipstick- didn’t use it
  • matte red lip pencil- didn’t use it
  • mini Benefit highlighter- didn’t use it
  • Lancome makeup remover
  • Muji cotton squares
  • Tweezerman tweezers
  • mini spatula- for scooping out my raw shea butter
  • disposable mascara wands- didn’t use them

Since most of the makeup items I brought were minis, the added weight wasn’t too bad so it wasn’t too much of a packing regret. Just stuck to my everyday look of groomed brows and a small flick of liquid eyeliner at the outer corner of my eyes.

Final assessment: Don’t expect that you will magically become more interested in makeup when you are on a trip. Always put skincare first!

Airplane Snacks

After waking up at 6am for my flight, not eating breakfast, and “randomly” getting selected for a scan and pat down, all I wanted was a snack. Only a yummy snack can soothe the battered soul that goes through airport security. Airports are really stepping it up with all of the food options, but they can cost a pretty penny so I like to take some food with me. These are some of my favorite in-flight snacks. Alternatively, you can cave and buy some Twizzlers and eat those instead. Not that that happened…

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  • gomacro protein bar in cashew caramel
  • roasted salted cashews
  •  dried rhubarb
  • dried strawberries
  • chocolate covered almonds
  • mini Justin’s Peanutbutter cups
  • various ginger honey candies

 

…. and twizzlers. It was the thought that counts right?

 

This is not a sponsored post.

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